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The Deborah Harris Agency

THE FALAFEL KING IS DEAD

THE FALAFEL KING IS DEAD

By: SHILO, Sara

Fiction, 2005

#1 bestseller since publication, December 2005

A small town on the outskirts of Israel, under a constant threat from across the border. Six years after the demise of one of the town’s most treasured residents, the local falafel king, his wife and six children still haven’t come to terms with his death; each is struggling to find a way to cope. With no savior to come for the rescue, they must find and use whatever seemingly meager strengths they have left – which turn out to be strong enough to awaken a man from the dead.

With a clear, direct yet wonderfully rich language, Sara Shilo allows marginal figures to have their moment in center-stage, to speak in voices not usually heard, and to be loved – along with the dark secret they guard. This is a novel that dares to touch the most remote and forbidden regions, depicting unbearable hardships and at the same time offering solace.

Rights Sold to:

Germany, DTV; Holland, Signatuur; Israel, Am Oved; Italy, Giuntina; Poland, Czarne; Russia, Text Publishers; Sweden, Bonnier; UK, Portobello

Reviews:

“Fiercely honest and full of compassion; I have not read a more powerful book all year.” – Nicole Krauss

What we have here is great literature, a masterpiece of Israeli literature.

Until the final chapter, there is not a single ordinary sentence. The book tramples academic standards with virtuosic glee. [T]he linguistic anti-norm becomes the only valid norm. It’s extraordinary.

The experience of reading this book is a little like sitting in a movie theater. For a few hours you give yourself up to the rules of this place, to its darkness, and find yourself thinking about the characters, turning yourself – by virtue of being a reader – into one of the family, taking on the responsibility, becoming a party to the secrets and lies, like some cousin who happened to come by the house and heard something he shouldn’t have. And as Itzik (one of the brothers) says, ’You go into a movie and you’re not in the world anymore. It’s paradise, I tell you, paradise’.” – Dror Burstein, Ha’aretz

The respect Sara Shilo has for her characters leads her to give them a rich and conscious inner world. Everything comes together into a piece that operates as a unified organism: each of its elements are separate organs, but together they make living dynamic being. – Hanna Azulai Hasfari, Ynet