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The Deborah Harris Agency

BIG GIRL

BIG GIRL

By: SHALEV, Amichai

Fiction, 2012

Revital is a withdrawn, bitter and dangerously overweight 19-year-old. While her contemporaries are serving in the Israeli military in Lebanon, Revital spends her days in a meaningless job. Her disconnected mother and her loving but oblivious father do not know what to do for her. In desperation, Revital convinces her naïve friend Avivit to go abroad with her to Europe. But their trip to freedom turns into a hell of drugs, sexual risk and disillusionment. Shalev subverts clichéd coming-of-age stories in which the young become wiser. BIG GIRL is a rhythmic, unflinching and razor-sharp narrative about silenced, marginal characters who are neither charming nor redeemed but who, in their longing for love and approval, touch readers in a fresh and meaningful way.

Rights Sold to:

Published by:

Israel, Yediot/Miskal

Reviews:

This is a powerful, keen and revealing book that follows a young woman for whom life is inhospitable through a bitter and burdensome trip to London. Amichai Shalev’s entrée into the inner workings of his character’s personality derives impressively from a deep acquaintance with her and with the internal and external reality in which she operates, as well as from the talent of an author whose distinct style improves and whose tools sharpen from book to book.” Eyal Megged

An honest and sincere bildungsroman

 [T]heroine will not squeeze readers for pity and sympathy. Precisely because of that Shalev succeeds in creating authentic moments of compassion towards her, but at the same time he does not stumble into sentimental traps.”  –Bar Hayun, Ha’aretz

“Shalev is a master of creating suspense and in manifesting the plot in the present tense and beckons the reader to accompany the character, to walk beside her and bear with her the hell of her agony.

“…dynamic and feverish literature

“BIG GIRL does not allow the reader to fall back on it as entertainment or leisure. Its words are fists of fury. Shalev is a naturally gifted story teller who knows how to show the reader the sequence of heavy and agonized movements of the book’s protagonist, who is whirling in a space that is closing in on her, suffocating with existential claustrophobia.

“The plot Shalev weaves is true to reality linguistically as well. The world is constructed in a language parallel to the protagonist’s eating disorder: it too cannot be controlled or stopped, the language is physical. It is as if Shalev types with angry fists looking for temporary relief or at the very least an amendment of injustice, a rage without resolution except for escape to a fictional world that reflects harsh reality, in an attempt to look at it and overcome life’s trauma, with a yearning for redemption and love.” Hagit Grossman, Makor Rishon

“Amichai Shalev is an exceptional and an important author on the current landscape of Israeli literature…In his books he deals with society’s “others,” not in the sociological sense of the word … but rather the others who don’t have a distinct political representation… the barely visible others. He deals with material no other author does

Amichai Shalev depicts the internal and external dialogue of the marginal figures who are his characters so realistically that he seems to speak with a unique mystical ability.” Nisim Katz, Yekum Tarbut