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By: RABINYAN, Dorit
Winner of the 2015 Bernstein Prize
What begins in the cold of early New York winter ends on a Jaffa beach at summer’s blinding peak. A chance encounter brings two strangers together: Liat, an Israeli from Tel Aviv, and Hilmi, a Palestinian born in Hebron. For one frozen winter away from home, on snowy streets, filled with longing for a Middle East sun, Liat and Hilmi demarcate the place reserved only for them, an intimate short-term place, a universe for two. At the fissures and margins of things, in corners and in gaps, the reality lurking in Israel peers at them and snarls. The story, with its passions and twists, follows them even when they each go their own way – Liat returning to Tel Aviv and Hilmi to the village of Jifna, north of Ramallah – refusing to end.
Dorit Rabinyan, author of the acclaimed PERSIAN BRIDES and STRAND OF A THOUSAND PEARLS returns in BORDERLIFE with a momentous novel, sensitive in its details and enthralling at its peaks. She tells a story crisscrossed by physical and emotional borderlines and courageously marks the deceit in the separation between “you” and “I,” between “us” and “them.” The protagonists of BORDERLIFE are endowed with compellingly real and heartbreaking lives.
Rights Sold to:
Brazil, Casa dos Livros Editora; China, Xiron Books; France, Les Escales; Germany, Kiepenheuer & Witsch; Greece, Livanis; Holland, Meridiaan; Hungary, Europa; Israel, Am Oved; Italy, Longanesi; Poland, Smak Stowa; Romania, Editura Polirom; Spain, Ediciones B; UK, Profile Books/Serpent’s Tail; USA, Random House
“I am impressed…Even the (asymmetrical) tragedy of the two peoples does not overwhelm this precise and elegant love story, drawn with the finest of lines. There are many astonishing things about this book.” – Amos Oz
“Rabinyan is a generous writer who puts her characters first... Rabinyan’s writing reflects the honesty and modesty of a true artisan. She is meticulous, to be sure, but at the same time she doesn’t appear to be straining, and this is what sets someone like her apart from those who merely practice the craft of writing.” – Dorit Shilo, Ha’aretz
“In BORDERLIFE Rabinyan juggles cultures, languages, art forms, places, times and seasons. Because of the novel’s epic fullness, its realistic plot which takes place in three cities – New York, Tel-Aviv and Ramallah – whose symbolic weight within the current psychological and political reality is admirable, because the novel strikes the right balance between the personal and the political, and because of her ability to tell a suspenseful and satisfying story, we decided to award Dorit Rabinyan’s BORDERLIFE the 2015 Bernstein Prize.” – From the 2015 Bernstein Prize judges’ decision
“[A] brave story that maintains a delicate balance and is too smart to be didactic or priggish. Dorit Rabinyan’s BORDERLIFE ought to be read like J.M. Coetzee or Toni Morrison – from a distance in order to get close. We might be born Montague or Capulet, but we can choose not to be part of the tragedy.” – Lilach Volach, Walla!
“…[B]eautiful and sensitive…a human tale of rapprochement and separation….Rabinyan’s ability to construct a complex situation in which stereotypes of weakness and strength are transcended and true connections are revealed behind that which divides us is a noteworthy human and literary achievement, grounded in sensitive, refined and non- derivative writing.” – Havatselet Farber, Makor Rishon
“There’s no doubt Rabinyan knows how to tell a story. The indecisions, moods and even the weather all take on unique beauty with her.” – Gill Mertens, Saloona
“A captivating (and heartbreaking) gem, written in a spectacular style, with a rich, flowing, colorful and addictive language. It was definitely worth the wait.” – Orit Har’el, Motke
"[Rabinyan’s] ability to create a rich realism alongside a firm, clear and convincing flow of emotional vacillations is evident in the novel and gives the work a literary momentum and makes the reading both compelling and enjoyable.” – Yotam Shwimmer, YNET