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Roy Chen

Literary fiction, Keter, 2020

At first glance, one wouldn’t be able to tell that Grisha, the quiet chubby man who lives with his mother in a crumbling apartment in Jaffa, has for a long time been travelling from century to century, from country to country and from one body to another. However, the exciting lives he has lived for the past four hundred years have certainly left their marks on him – and their scars.

Having experienced the birth of the Jewish theater in the XVII century, the cultural wealth of the Jewish ghetto in XVIII century Venice, everyday life of a Jewish woman in XIX century Morocco, as well as the Soviet immigration to Israel in the XX century, Grisha is perhaps the most honest liar you will ever meet – yet even his own mother refuses to believe him. In her own words, “There is only one life. Everything else is a metaphor.”

SOULS is a dizzying and brilliant carnival that moves effortlessly between genres and periods of history yet stays deeply inspired by the Jewish roots of its author. It is a novel about the deceptive flexibility of the human soul and the desperate yearning for meaning – or at least for one other soul who will understand us.



Rights Sold:

Italy: Giuntina; Russia; Phantom

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