The Hilltop is published in Italian

The Italian translation of The Hilltop, translated by Shira Katz, was published today in Italy by La Giuntina.

Info on the publisher’s website >>>

Buy on Amazon Italy >>>

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The Hilltop paperback edition published in the UK

The paperback edition of The Hilltop will be published in the UK today. Translated by Steven Cohen and published by Oneworld.

This is the cover, a variation on the hardcover.

Here is a link to buy it, with free delivery worldwide >>>

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Interview about The Hilltop in the Montreal Gazette

“The comic tone is my style. This is how I write and this is also what I like to read. I think it is not only allowed, it is important to use it, even – or perhaps moreover – when writing about difficult, hard and tragic stories and issues.”

This interview was published in the Montreal Gazette ahead of my event in the Blue metropilis literary festival in Montreal. Interview by Ian McGillis.

Read the interview >>>

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Review of The Hilltop on Swedish television

The Hilltop was reviewed on the morning show of Swedish national TV station SVT1.

The reviewer gives The Hilltop a “strong four” grade and calls it a fine satire, skillfully written, and educating, while being tremendously funny.

Watch the review (Swedish, starts at 05:30 minutes) >>>

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Excerpt from “Moving” published in PEN World Voices Festival 2015 anthology

An excerpt from “Moving”, translated by Evan Fallenberg, is part of an online anthology published by the PEN World Voices festival, ahead of next months’s 2015 festival in New York City. My event there will take place on Friday May 8th.

Read the excerpt from Moving >>>

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Recommended Montreal festival event

“The Wild West Bank”, the event about The Hilltop in the Blue Metropolis literary festival in Montreal, is one of seven recommended events in the festival, by Ian McGillis of the English-language Montreal newspaper, the Montreal Gazette.

Read article >>>

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Review of The Hilltop by Swedish newspaper

The Hilltop was reviewed by one of the top newspapers in northern Sweden, calling it “Big, multi-layered, and demonstrating different styles of writing”.

Read review (Swedish) >>>

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Review of The Hilltop in Aftonbladet, Sweden

“… the fact that a novel like this can be written certainly lends hope”

A review of The Hilltop in Sweden’s leading tabloid newspaper, Aftonbladet. Written by Goran Greider.

Read review (Swedish) >>>

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Interview by Swedish news agency

Interview about The Hilltop for the Swedish new agency SVD, which was printed in many newspapers across the country.

Read the article (Swedish) >>>

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Mouth & Foot gig in Berlin

The Mouth & Foot played a short gig in Radialsystem, Berlin, Germany.

The gig was part of an event to mark the publication of a German-Israeli anthology in both Israel and Germany, Hebrew and German.

Track list: Candy Store, Schluck Beton, Dog Walkers, Gun in Hand, Planet yes.

Photo by: Dirk Bleicker

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Panel in Berlin: We don’t forget, we go dancing

My story “Wuppertal Vohwinkel” was published in the German-Israeli anthology, “We don’t forget, we go dancing”, published by Fischer in Germany and Afik in Israel. To mark the publication I participated in a couple of panels on the subject of Israeli-German relations in Berlin.

Photo by: Dirk Bleicker

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Interview on Swedish TV: Babel on SVT

This interview was aired on the Babel literary television show on SVT, Swedish national TV station, hosted by Jessika Gedin. The section about The Hilltop starts at 31:30 minutes.

View show (English with Swedish subtitles) >>>

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Interview on Swedish TV

Interview about The Hilltop in Swedish channel 4, on the Malou von Sivers show.

Watch the interview (English with Swedish subtitles) >>>

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Review of The Hilltop in south-Sweden’s major newspaper

“Powerful and glowing.”

A review of The Hilltop in south Sweden’s biggest newspaper, Sydsvenskan.

Read review (Swedish) >>>

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Reading in a bookshop in Stockholm

Had a reading in the beautiful Stockholm bookshop Söderbokhandeln (“The southern bookshop”), interviewed by journalist Negar Josephi, and signed books.

This blogger transcribed the full conversation.

Read the conversation (Swedish) >>>

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Review of The Hilltop in Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

The Hilltop is published in Sweden this week. This is a review in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, written by Jonas Thente.

Read review (Swedish) >>>

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Review of The Hilltop by Robert Alter in Jewish Review of Books

“The book is alternately satiric (it includes scenes of sheer farce) and somber, ending on a mock-idyllic note that points to a future fraught with ominous potential. Though it seems safe to infer that Gavron strenuously objects to the settler movement, part of his achievement is that he is able to imagine it sympathetically from within, making us see the world as the settlers, who perceive themselves as embattled idealists, must see it… The Hilltop is throughout a lively, engaging novel, shrewdly perceptive about contemporary Israeli society, and at times even quite funny, but in the end it is a sad book.”

A review of The Hilltop in the Jewish Review of Books, written by Robert Alter.

Link to review online (subscribers only) >>>

Or you can read it below…

Assaf Gavron’s The Hilltop, first published in Hebrew in 2013, is a refreshing reminder that traditional realism is still an effective vehicle of insight into contemporary society and politics. There is nothing modernist or postmodern in the way Gavron tells his story—no experimentation with narrative form, no dense interior monologues, no stylistic fireworks. What Gavron repeatedly evinces is a very keen eye for characteristic gesture and speech, for the reflexes of social milieu, and for the ways in which ideology suffuses attitudes and actions. The sum effect in this novel is a probing representation of the settler movement and the ambiguous relation to it of the Israeli government and of the consumerist world of secular Israel.

The book is alternately satiric (it includes scenes of sheer farce) and somber, ending on a mock-idyllic note that points to a future fraught with ominous potential. Though it seems safe to infer that Gavron strenuously objects to the settler movement, part of his achievement is that he is able to imagine it sympathetically from within, making us see the world as the settlers, who perceive themselves as embattled idealists, must see it. The book begins with ironic echoes of the Garden story in Genesis (“In the beginning were the fields . . . And so it came to pass that Othniel deferred to the vintner . . .”), ironically intimating that the settlers may imagine they are living in a new Eden. The English version of the novel is well served by Steven Cohen’s lively translation, which takes minor liberties with the Hebrew to vivifying effect and can be faulted only for the now predictable repeated use of “like” where “as” is required and for sometimes making the dialogue sound too American (“dude” for the Hebrew gever, “man” and “bro” for the Hebrew ahi, “brother”).

The hilltop of the title is a small illegal settlement in the West Bank, Ma’aleh Hermesh C, which adjoins two older, authorized settlements, Ma’aleh Hermesh A and B, and sits above an Arab village surrounded by old olive groves. A large cast of characters populate Ma’aleh Hermesh C, ranging from an ideologically ferocious beautician—the choice of her profession is itself amusing—to a young and prejudiced American immigrant floundering with his rudimentary Hebrew, and several couples, some happy and some dysfunctional, who mainly want to enjoy family life in a quiet prospering place, an aspiration probably shared by a large part of the population of very different settlements. They could scarcely all be like Ma’aleh Hermesh C, but novelists are obliged to use one instance to stand for the societal whole (surely not every orphanage in 1830s England was quite like Oliver Twist’s).

Ma’aleh Hermesh C is a rigorously Orthodox community: Worship takes place in its little makeshift synagogue morning and evening; the Sabbath is strictly observed; the men, with beards and pe’ot wear large knitted skullcaps and regard the small kippot of the modern Orthodox as a shameful concession to the secularists. Some, though not all, of these settlers are genuinely devout, dedicated to a serious quest for spiritual fulfillment. The novel embodies a sympathetic understanding of the Sabbath tranquility experienced by these Jews and the sense of security and harmony realized through the familiar cycle of daily rituals and annual festivals. But since Gavron is a realist, he also knows that people, however religious, will inevitably be people, and so a piquant subplot involves a passionate affair between the teenage daughter of one of the large, pious families and a young Ethiopian soldier who serves in the IDF contingent assigned to protect the settlement.

Gavron juggles these ramifying relationships and personalities quite deftly, but he places two brothers at the center of the novel, Roni Kupper, who suddenly arrives at the settlement after having lived for an extended period in New York, and Gabi Nehushtan (he has Hebraized the family name), who has joined the settlement as a ba’al teshuvah (in Cohen’s slightly odd translation choice, “a reborn” Jew). In order to flesh out their identities, Gavron presents their back stories through lengthy flashbacks, which constitutes something of a structural problem: just when things at Ma’aleh Hermesh C have come to a boil, we are taken back to Roni and Gabi’s childhood, their time in the army and afterward.

Roni is an unreconstructed secular Israeli, and something of a sensualist. When, for example, a group of leftists arrive at the settlement to conduct a protest against it, his eye is caught by the alluring figure of one female protester:

And that’s what Roni could see, freely bouncing up and down under a shirt bearing the slogan The Occupation Weakens Us—large and juicy, poking against the fabric, erect, fleshy nipples of volume and experience; the nipples of someone who knows they are there and how to leverage them.

Roni is also an indefatigable entrepreneur. After the army, he ends up becoming the proprietor of a trendy bar in Tel Aviv. Eventually, tired of the business, he makes his way to New York, acquires an MBA, and secures a place as a Wall Street trader. He wheels and deals, picking up insider information from Israeli contacts in the financial sector, then forges his boss’ signature to make unauthorized trades. On the eve of the 2008 crash, he bets against a new Apple product called the iPhone, having been assured by his informants that it doesn’t work very well. He thus loses immense sums that were not his to lose. He flees first to San Francisco, and then, with investigators hot on his trail, he hops on a plane for Tel Aviv:

The gambles, the successes, the mistakes, that, within the space of a few months during the American economy’s most dramatic fall, had pushed his brief and meteoric career into a fatal tailspin . . . and eventually drove driven him that wintry day in February from San Francisco straight to the West Bank, dressed in an elegant Hugo Boss suit and worn-out socks, and in possession of scarcely anything else.

The combination of the Hugo Boss suit and the worn-out socks, from affluence to exposed impecuniousness, is a particularly apt realist stroke. Roni, then, makes himself his brother’s uninvited guest because this is a place where no one is likely to find him.

The brothers have grown up on a kibbutz after being orphaned in early childhood when both their parents were killed in a car accident. Gabi has a long history of sporadic outbursts of violent acts, from boyhood to the period of his army service to a time when he is married, living in Tel Aviv, and the father of a small son. It is as a consequence of one of these violent episodes—its precise nature is not spelled out until relatively late in the novel—that he finds himself in jail and susceptible to the persuasion of an ultra-Orthodox proselytizer. Thus, when he comes to the settlement, he prays three times daily, pores over the writings of the Hasidic master Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, longs to go on a pilgrimage to the Bratslaver’s native Uman in Ukraine, and contemplates more or less constantly all the bounties that the Holy One has bestowed on him. His fellow settlers regard him as “a saint,”  though they do not appear to share his particular passion for Bratzlaver Hasidism. While Gabi concentrates on his spiritual self-realization (irrevocably removed, however, from his ex-wife and his son), the penniless Roni cooks up a questionable scheme to market the olive oil produced in the neighboring Arab village to the boutique shops in Tel Aviv.

The two brothers were once close, but fell out of touch during Roni’s sojourn in America. Now they belong to utterly incompatible worlds, and there are frequent arguments between them. One of the strengths of the novel is that Gavron is able to create a convincing case for each side of the irreconcilable dispute. Here is a characteristic exchange:

“I don’t feel the need to apologize for doing business and living the good life. Is your life any better? Are you happier? Are your values any nobler? To be silent? To pray? To stop using electricity at a certain time on Friday? I don’t get it.”

“I know you don’t get it,” Gabi said.

“Explain to me, then. What do you get out of endlessly reading and memorizing things said two hundred years ago by some Ukrainian rabbi, who told you to be silent, or to sing, or to rejoice, or God knows what?

“Peace of mind,” Gabi replied. “It brings me tranquility, love, happiness. For some reason, it’s hard for you to accept that. Maybe you’re trying too hard not to see it.”

“And maybe you’re trying too hard to see it.”

It should be evident that this is one of those arguments in which both sides are right, or perhaps, more to the political point of the novel, in which both sides are wrong. Gabi’s disapproval of his brother has a clear warrant in the rudderless and morally shabby nature of Roni’s life. It is not much of a life—the most one can say of it is that he has made no pretense of being someone he is not. Gabi, for his part, has in fact found peace of mind in religion, but it all seems, as his brother suspects, rather self-consciously willed (his enthusiasm for the pilgrimage to Uman has been kindled by YouTube videos). He remains cut off from his child and, until very late in the novel, from any intimate relationship. The tranquility, moreover, is not perfect: He becomes involved in a politically motivated act of destructive lawlessness that reminds us of the violent episodes of his earlier life, so, for all his piety, he does not seem to be an entirely trustworthy figure.

The crucial background to the conflict between the brothers is the disputed status of the hilltop settlement. It is, as I have noted, illegal from the official Israeli viewpoint, and near the beginning of the novel a government order is issued for its imminent evacuation. Though the expulsion of the settlers, overseen by the army and carried out with bulldozers, seems on the verge of enactment more than once, it never happens. “Fortunately for us, the right hand has no clue as to what the left one is doing,” a settler aptly remarks. The Ma’aleh Hermesh C activists pull strings in Jerusalem and obtain a temporary stay of the edict. (Israeli government circles here look rather like the Circumlocution Office in Dickens.) Then a Washington Post correspondent publishes an article on the unauthorized occupation of this site. “The hodgepodge of laws and conflicting authorities,” he writes, “like something out of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, has allowed Jewish settlers to create a kind of Wild West, where they behave like outlaw sheriffs.” This condemnation triggers outrage in the White House, and American pressure is brought to bear on Israel to remove the settlement.

An Israeli cabinet minister shows up at Ma’aleh Hermesh C with full entourage, writhing under the blazing sun in his suit and tie, his physical discomfort a comical correlative to the political discomfort of his hopeless effort to placate both the Americans and the settlers. This long farcical scene vividly illustrates the government’s impotence in the face of the fierce determination of the settlers. The minister makes a little mealy-mouthed speech about “certain adjustments” that will have to be made at Ma’aleh Hermesh C. The fanatic beautician responds with a blistering, self-righteous denunciation:

“Tell the American president that he doesn’t stand a chance against us, because the king of the world is on our side! . . . What do Americans understand about the Israeli people’s struggle against Arab brutality? Who asked you to come here? Have you come to weaken the Jewish people, who’ve returned to the Land of Israel after two thousand years of exile and persecution and wars and pogroms and the Holocaust? Are you forcing us out here—here, God’s sanctuary, the land of our forefathers? You’re throwing us out of here? And you dare to call that peace? Chutzpah!”

What emerges from Gavron’s representation of the settler movement as it is manifested in Ma’aleh Hermesh C is that it has been enabled not by a grand governmental plan of territorial expansion but, from the Labor government in 1967 to the succession of right-wing coalitions that continue to the present, by a checkered history of religious idealism, political acquiescence, cynicism, diplomatic gridlock, confusion, and sheer incompetence—the right hand not knowing what the left is doing. There is considerable justice in what one visitor from the other side of the “Green Line” says to Roni: “Tell me, are they not lunatics, burning with messianic ideological fervor, outlaws and bullies who harass the Arabs and steal land and all that?” The lunacy and even the ideological fervor are not shared by the representatives of the Israeli government we see in the novel, but they are not resolute enough to confront them in any effective or sustained way.

The intersecting stories of the two brothers in the end become an emblem for the underlying national context of the potent trouble spot that is the settler movement. The two boys, we should recall, are products of the kibbutz, which has often been thought of as the finest flowering of Zionist idealism. One of the settlers is in fact writing a dissertation on the failure of the kibbutz movement, involving “the appropriation of land, the decisions vis-à-vis sources of livelihood and the receipt of state credit and benefits, including, too, the reliance on slogans and ideology, and through also to the condescension and arrogance of a closed society, alienated and on a pedestal, functioning according to its own set of rules.” All of which makes the kibbutz sound like a precursor to the settlement movement.

The brothers grow up in the waning phase of the kibbutz experiment, and neither considered remaining there. In New York (Gabi also has a brief stay there) and in Tel Aviv, they are seen as different manifestations of the loss of orientation in “post-Zionist” Israeli society—Roni in pursuit of profit and pleasure with no deep human connections, Gabi ensconced in the bourgeois vapidness of a failing marriage as he is riven by his personal demons.

The divergent paths they then take in the wake of their private failures trace what amounts to a national trajectory. Roni remains where he began, an embodiment of the Israeli hustler, the paradigmatic figure of an acquisitive and hedonistic society. Gabi is driven by the collapse of his personal life to the reassurances of faith. But at a historical moment when believers have become political activists, his turn to religion entails the expropriation of land, acts of hostility toward the neighboring Arabs who are scarcely neighbors, estrangement from much of the Jewish population within Israel proper, and a withdrawal from what is bracing and challenging along with as what is debased in the modern world. The fate of the brothers suggests that the settler movement with its aggressively confident values has flourished because it fills a vacuum in a country that senses or at least fears the withering of national values.

The last extended scene of the novel is an attempt by the army to remove the settlement in the midst of a Purim celebration. Everyone at Ma’aleh Hermesh C is in costume. This carnivalesque moment perfectly exemplifies the country’s topsy-turvy political realm as well as the confusion of identities with which it is beset. The bulldozers are poised among the masked revelers. Then a quixotic and idiotic act on the part of three of the settlers triggers a chain of events that brings the evacuation to a halt.

The Hilltop is throughout a lively, engaging novel, shrewdly perceptive about contemporary Israeli society, and at times even quite funny, but in the end it is a sad book. It seems that no one will be able to get rid of Ma’aleh Hermesh C. The existence of such settlements in the heartland of Arab population is surely a recipe for disaster in the long run, and perhaps now even in the short run. In the final image of the novel, Gabi is hammering away at the reconstruction of his cabin, which was reduced to ruins by an army bulldozer. He soulfully meditates, as he is wont to do, on the “one immense and powerful holy God, who sees and knows everything.” This is Gavron’s last irony. His omniscient narrator sees what Gabi cannot see, and what Gabi’s God will not prevent, namely  the historical catastrophe that is waiting to be born out of all this noble building and sowing and reaping and tending of flocks.

Robert Alter’s latest book, Strong As Death Is Love: The Song of Songs, Ruth, Esther, Jonah, and Daniel, will be published by W.W. Norton & Company in March.

 

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Lecture on translation, Omaha public radio

A lecture I gave on translation in the University of Nebraska, Omaha, back in September 2014.

It was recorded and now broadcasted on KIOS radio – the Omaha branch of NPR.

Listen to lecture >>>

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Interview about The Hilltop in Swedish Radio

Here is an interview recorded in London by Hugo Lavett for Swedish National radio.

It was broadcasted as part of a pre-elections Israeli literature program.

My segment is from around 9:00 minutes to around 21:00 minutes.

Listen to show (Swedish) >>>

This is a shorter version aired >>>

 

 

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The Hilltop out soon in Sweden

The Hilltop will be published in Swedish translation by the publisher Natur & Kultur on March 23rd.

The publisher’s web page for the book >>>

Get it online here >>>

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Jewish Book Week event in London

An event about The Hilltop in The London Book Week, with interview by Sara Hirschorn.

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Review of The Hilltop in La Presse, Canada

Review of The Hilltop’s French edition (Les Innocents), by Francois Richard, in French Canadian newspaper, La Presse.

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Review of The Hilltop in the Times Literary Supplement, UK

“Gavron sets out to complicate the [settlers'] stereotype… Though the issues raised are grave, Gavron’s tack is surprisingly light-hearted, humourous, satirical…

“An ambitious novel, a distanced overview, meticulously realistic…

“Gavron represents a distinctly new generation of Israeli writing. Though it sometimes echos the wry, ironic tone of Amos Oz, Gavron’s novel, directed at a wide audience, eschews the symbolic freight and biblical intertexture of so much earlier Israeli fiction. Steeped in contemporary references, his work is not shadowed by the Holocaust or the 1948 war of Independence…

“Gavron’s storytelling gift comes through less in the dramatic turns of a plot than in a more modest interstices of the ordinary, the quotidian.”

Review of The Hilltop by Morris Dickstein, in the Times Literary Supplement, UK

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Interview in Israel21c website

“With a string of international literary awards and bestselling novels to his credit, Assaf Gavron has earned his place alongside his accomplished friends Etgar Keret and Nir Baram as a foremost Israeli author under 50.”

Interview and article by Abigail Klein Leichman in Israel21c website.

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Review of the Hilltop in the New York Times Book Review

“Structurally brilliant….Violence haunts the narrative, providing its emotional core.”

Review of The Hilltop by Pauls Tautonghi in the New York Times Book Review. To be published 21 December 2014.

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Review of The Hilltop in the Guardian, UK

“The Hilltop undoubtedly provides an extraordinary view of contemporary Israeli society… it is something entirely new – a comic settlement-saga that attempts to understand the terrible saga of the settlements.”

Reaview of The hilltop by Iam Sansom  in the Guardian.

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Review of The Hilltop in the Financial Times, UK

“… Lends vital volume and humanity to a story that shows how fiction can fully access the areas diplomacy and journalism do not quite reach… infused with gentle, everyday humour and flickers of kindness… could be taken as an allegory of Israel’s journey from leftwing secularism to the religious right…”

Review if The Hilltop by Julius Purcell in the Financial Times, UK

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The Hilltop recommended on JTA

“Equal parts comedy and tragedy, Assaf Gavron’s sprawling seventh novel takes us to a fictional West Bank settlement deemed illegal by the Israeli government.”

The Hilltop recommended as a Hanukkah gift by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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The Hilltop briefly noted in the New Yorker

“Expansive, humorous novel… Gavron’s satiric touches can be coruscating…”

The Hilltop in the New Yorker’s “briefly noted” reviews.

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Radio interview – 15 with the Author

Interview in 15 with the Author with Terri Knight on KYMN.

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The Hilltop in NPR’s best of 2014 list

The Hilltop was selected in NPR’s “best of 2014″ book list:

“Americans may not recognize the portrait of Israel in Assaf Gavron’s most recent novel, but Israelis sure will. It’s set in an illegal Jewish settlement on the West Bank. The residents are a cross section of Israeli society who joined the settlement for any number of reasons: religious, ideological or simply in search of anonymity. The book deals with Israel’s overarching conflicts — Jew versus Jew, Jew versus Palestinian — and presents them with a nuanced complexity that feels very real. It’s a funny and ultimately melancholy read.”

Review by Mark Katkov

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Listen >>>

 

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Review of The Hilltop in Forward

“Compelling….touchingly human….gripping….Gavron’s achievement is to strip Ma’aleh Hermesh C of all the expectations, projections and stereotypes that Western readers usually have of ‘settlers.’ And instead he makes it about the real, fascinating people who live there.”

Review of The Hilltop by Dan Friedman in Forward.

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Radio Interview – Beyond 50

Interview on the Beyond 50 radio show, with Daniel Davis.

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Radio interview – The Avid Reader

Interview on The Avid Reader with Sam Hanken on WCAT/WCHE.

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PBS interview about Tel Aviv Noir

Interview broadcast on PBS about Tel Aviv Noir, along with Teheran Noir editor Salar Abdoh and Singapore Noir editor Cheryl Lu Lien Tan, in the Miami Book Fair.

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Review of The Hilltop in a Belgian blog

Review of The Hilltop in Belgian blog lees|me|nu

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Miami Book Fair Noir panel

Panel on Tel Aviv Noir, Teheran Noir and Singapore Noir with fellow editors Salar Abdoh and Cheryl Tan.

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Review of Tel Aviv Noir

Tel Aviv Noir reveals a side of the city that most residents and visitors never see. Readers interested in exploring the dark side of Tel Aviv will be fascinated by these short pieces of noir literature.”

Review of Tel Aviv Noir by Ellis Schuman.

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Review of The Hilltop in Curious Animal

“For giving depth to a group so often demonised or heroised, The Hilltop is an important work and an invaluable insight into modern Israel… 8/10″

Review of The Hilltop in British online magazine for travel and culture, Curious Animal.

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Review of Croc Attack in Greece

Another review which i can’t read but I’m told is very good.

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Interview in Tin House magazine blog

“The Hilltop, Assaf Gavron’s fifth novel, opens with the language of Genesis: “In the beginning were the fields.” We soon meet Othniel Assis, who, “so it came to pass,” hiked until his beard grew long and he found the land that would become the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Hermesh C. As the novel unfolds, Gavron’s confident, often playful narrator portrays interpersonal drama with humor and heartbreak as we follow the wide cast of characters who call the settlement home.”

Interview by Rebekah Bergman, Tin House magazine blog (The Open Bar)

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Interview in BBC Radio 4′s Front Row, UK

Radio interview on BBC 4′s Front Row.

Program page >>>

Download podcast here (November 14th) >>>

Listen to the interview (starts 18:38) >>>
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Video of The Hilltop event in The Strand Book Store, New York

Here is a video of my conversation with author John Wray about The Hilltop in The Strand Book Store.

 

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Review of The Hilltop in the Jewish Chronicle, UK

“It is a big, ambitious, state-of-nation novel… full of powerful moments of high drama”

Review of The Hilltop by David Herman, the Jewish Chronicle, UK

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Interview in the Harold Examiner, CT

“It is not a class in history or politics, but a book. Still, I do hope it opens minds to the complexity of situations and individuals, and that people learn something from it.”

Interview about The Hilltop in the Harold Examiner, Connecticut.

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Tel Aviv / Teheran Noir NYPL event

Tonight was the Tel Aviv Noir and Teheran Noir launch event in the New York Public Library, with Salar Abdoh, Gina Nahai, Etgar Keret and Assaf Gavron.

Listen to full audio recording of the event >>>

And here’s a short video edit of the event:

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Review of The Hilltop in the Annethology blog

“The story provides the stage to showcase the hodgepodge of communities that make up twenty-first century Israel: religious versus secular Jews; Tel Aviv yuppies versus Palestinian villagers; modern capitalism versus kibbutzim collectivism; the ever-present military and the shadow of the United States.”

Review of The Hilltop in Australian blog Annethology.

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Interview in the Jewish Book Council website

“… a tremendous ability to portray different types of people in the book. The char­acters change throughout the book and the book chronicles their changes. There are two different baalei teshuvah, returnees to religious Judaism, Josh and Gabi. They are not stereotypes, but individuals. Even the Shin Bet informer is seen as sympathetic…”

Interview about the Hilltop, by Beth Kissileff, Jewish Book Council website.

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Radio Interview – Jeff Schechtman’s “Specific Gravity”

Interview about The Hilltop on Jeff Schechtman’s radio show, Specific Gravity.

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Interview about The Hilltop on TLV1 Radio

Interview with Ishai Golan on the Tel Aviv State of Mind show, Radio TLV1.

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