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Ron Leshem

Fiction, 2005

Beaufort, a beautiful and deadly crusader fort in southern Lebanon, is a world of its own, an enclave in the heart of enemy territory where Israeli soldier-boys create a state with its own rules and its own unique, colorful, brutal language.

With a critical eye and an empathic heart, author Ron Leshem dishes up a most human story that takes place in conditions that are anything but. Fast-paced and brutally honest, unflinching and sometimes uproariously funny, BEAUFORT has been hailed – not only by critics but also by the generation of soldiers who served in Lebanon during Israeli occupation – as the true voice of that sobering period.

Written as the diary of Liraz (Erez) Liberti, the head of a commando team stationed at Beaufort during the last winter of Israeli occupation, BEAUFORT is a revolutionary and potent look at the triviality of war and death, and the courage it takes to put an end to it. This is not a story of war, but of retreat. It is a story with no enemy, only an amorphous entity that drops bombs from the skies. And while thirteen young men propel the novel and give it life and color, the real hero of BEAUFORT is fear: contagious, intoxicating, palpable fear, a word they forbid themselves from uttering.

Joseph Cedar (“Footnote,”  “Time of Favor,” ”Campfire”) won of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his direction of the film version of BEAUFORT, which was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.


Rights Sold to:

Brazil, Record Publishing; China, Thin Kingdom Media Group Ltd.; France, Editions du Seuil; Germany, Rowohlt Verlag; Holland, Meulenhoff; Israel, Kinneret Zmora Bitan; Italy, Rizzoli; Korea, Dulnyouk Publishing; Poland, WAB; Portugal, Bico de Pena; Romania, SC Leda; UK, Harvill and Secker; USA, Bantam Books

Film Rights: Joseph Cedar


“Ron Leshem has succeeded in creating an entire world, simply through language.” –  David Grossman, quoted in Yediot Ahronot

“’Beaufort’ is that rare thing, a novel of deep moral concern in which sympathetically drawn and beautifully realized characters are allowed to speak for themselves… It’s also a compelling window on contemporary young Israel… Leshem’s novel captures all the pathos along with the claustrophobia of an isolated outpost, the casual heroism, the pervasiveness of fear.” – Los Angeles Times

“By turns, it is tragic, funny, mordant, irate, shocking, and poignant… A must-read.” – Starred review Booklist

“Leshem brings us some sobering news, revealing how war is addictive as well as appalling, and how its terrible intensity can make ordinary life seem dull. As even crass Erez comes to realise, ‘I’m not really here to protect the northern residents of Israel but because I have this urge to kill.’” – The Independent UK

“Beaufort: a title full of tenderness, romance and charm but misleading. Far from being pastoral, the book is one of those texts that take you by surprise…droll and harrowing, the author captures, through the squad of young soldiers, the singularities which make up the wealth and complexity of Israeli society.” – Le Monde

“In pungent and rhythmic writing, Leshem depicts a society which feels morally as well as physically besieged.” – Le Figaro

“A radical anti-war novel; a universal reflection about fear and defeat... The novel has a documentary power which is difficult to evade... It is not a war novel but a novel about retreat and a petition for the message that defeat can be much more strengthening than any victory bought with blood.” – Der Spiegel

“BEAUFORT is a fascinating work of originality that contains the foundations for understanding the contemporary Israeli male army myth.” – Haim Finkelman, Ha’aretz

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