Translation is an art! I had the privilege to work with a great translator named Shira Atik.
“A Rabbi’s Daughter” has been favorably reviewed in the Israeli press and has merited a prestigious grant (Pardes) offered by the National Library of Israel which shows the public’s interest and the uniqueness of the book. It’s written in rich Hebrew which sometimes is even biblical in mood. But at the same time, the English language hovers over the prose from the opening line to the end of the novel.
The motif of the rabbi’s daughter has been written about in Hebrew and other languages by many authors.
This novel, unlike many novels written by Israelis, relates to the Jewish aspect of Israel in a pluralistic sense, while being Zionist in the fact that this book describes growing up in the periphery of Israel, Some of the universal themes of the book include adolescent rebellion, separation, cancer, death, Jewish hospitality, cinema, memory and more.
The noted writer and scholar, Professor Hayim Be’er wrote in the blurb on the back cover:
“The rabbi’s daughter is one of the charming archetypes in Hebrew literature. The acclaimed Shaul Tchernichovsky, Jacob Steinberg and of course Devorah Baron, the feminist writer, daughter of Rabbi Shabtay Eliezer Baron from Minsk, wrote about the rabbi’s daughter. To this prestigious gallery of respected authors Avigail Graetz enters with honors….It is a one of a kind book that captivates the heart and sheds light on characters who are torn between tradition and modernity, between the United States and Israel, between sanity and craziness and between religion and freedom.”
Here you can read the first chapter published last year in Jewish Fiction.net
Here you can read about my play in the Acco Festival published in Ynet culture it was titled: “Fighting to be a Jew”. My play Ona’at Devarim (Verbal Wrongs) was performed at the 27th Acco Festival of Alternative Israeli Theater and won a prize for set design and the use of original materials and their transformation into a stage concept.
Dear supporters, family and friends!
Thank you so so much for supporting my translation project!
When it’s all over I’ll send you more personal notes!
I recently saw the film “La La land” and really identified with the closing song and it’s lyrics.
I really felt how it describes me and more so this “crazy” project that against all odds I’m doing it:
“Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make.”
This is the scene on you tube, no worries it’s not a spoiler to watch it, it’s a scene that stands by itself : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLN38-TDM_s&t=28s
And on a different note all though to me it’s the same- because it’s the note that belongs to the music of life and death and how they are connected.
I wanted to share something with you.
My novel was published four and a half years ago in Hebrew and shortly after that I gave birth to my daughter Shira.
I want to quote an email I received from a friend that passed away the same week I gave birth. This friend was like family to me as she was part of the community we both grew up in. The conservative amazing community of American Jews who had a dream and a vision and came to live in Israel in a true Zionist act. They came down south when it really wasn’t as flourishing like these days and created a feminist liberal home. In the seventies!
It really was tough… Some made Alyia with their children and I think I was the only one born and raised in the same house in Omer. You can see how our faiths were tied all along… I was the youngest among the second generation and considered the rebel (now I see that with out much cause) and yet this is my biography and Lora Warshawsky Livne was a pillar in this community like her parents and siblings.
Someone I defiantly looked up to. She was able to belong and combine both the shul and family together with the vibrant secular life of our small town including the scouts that we both belonged too.
I was lucky to have her read my novel and receive a few emails from her a few months before she died from cancer. She congratulated me and wrote she’s enjoying it a lot. She said she told her mother’s book club they must read it…..
So in a way this is like prophecy to me. The book club she referred to is in English and ever since I know that many of my extended family, people who shaped who I am were not able to read it. (Some made the effort to read it in Hebrew including my mother that never reads Hebrew novels).
So your not “supposed to” write a novel for your family and friends, but who says???
The dreamers don’t really care, they do it any way with the hope and feeling that we are all alike and we can all benefit from a well written family story whether we know them or not.
So thank you so much for supporting me and I dare to ask you to pass this dream on. It still needs to reach so many conservative- reform communities around the world that will enjoy my novel.
Thank you, Avigail