Sally Rooney suspends translation of her next novel in Israel

Sally Rooney, known for her first two novels Normal People and Conversations with friends, sows discord in Israel. She decided not to publish her third novel there. Beautiful World, Where Are Youin solidarity with a movement boycotting Israel for the way the country treats Palestinians “, she said in a statement released by her agent.

Indeed, the Irish author explained that she refused to have her latest book translated into Hebrew by her Israeli publishing house, which she considers too close to power. “I don’t think it would be fair“to accept a new contract with an Israeli company”which does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and does not support the rights of the Palestinian people stipulated by the UNThe 30-year-old writer said in a statement. Until now, the author’s novels have been translated into Hebrew by Katyah Benovits and published by Modan.

However, Sally Rooney clarified that “it would be an honor“to have a Hebrew translation for Beautiful World, Where Are You. But for now, I have chosen not to sell these translation rights to an Israel-based publishing house.“, she added.

A decision that is debated

The choice of the Irish novelist aroused strong reactions, especially in the Jewish community. “Sally Rooney has chosen a path at odds with the artistic essence of literature“, denounced Gitit Levy-Paz, member of the Political Institute of the Jewish People (JPPI). “The very essence of literature, its power to bring a sense of coherence and order to the world, is negated by Rooney’s choice to exclude a group of readers because of their national identity.“, she lamented on the Jewish news site Forward.

Sally Rooney’s novels are available in Chinese and Russian. Doesn’t she care about the Uyghurs? Or journalists who challenge Putin?“, quipped the American critic Ruth franklin on his Twitter account. She adds that “judging Israel by a different standard from the rest of the world is anti-Semitism“.

For Sally Rooney, “Israel’s system of racial domination and segregation against Palestinians meets definition of apartheid under international law“, replied the writer, claiming to support the boycott movement targeting companies or institutions”accomplices“of”serious human rights violations“.

An air of deja vu

This literary crisis has precedents. In 2012, the American author Alice walker refused a new Hebrew translation of The Color Purple (Robert Laffont), by its Israeli publisher, Yediot Books. The epistolary novel received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983. It was also adapted by Steven Spielberg in 1985. The Anglo-Pakistani novelist Kamila shamsie, forfeited the Nelly Sachs Prize, had supported the BDS movement, Boycott Desinvestment Sanctions, which aims to boycott Israel.

Sally Rooney, originally from Castlebar (north-west of Ireland), discusses in her works the notion of consent, social differences and the different forms of romantic relationships. She began her career with critical acclaim with her first novel Conversations with friends. His second novel, Normal people has sold over a million copies worldwide, and the series adaptation by director Lenny Abrahamson has won the Golden Globes. They were translated into Hebrew and appeared in France by L’Olivier editions.

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Sally Rooney suspends translation of her next novel in Israel