Nir Baram’s first Nonfiction book, which describes his one-year journey in the West bank and East Jerusalem will be published in Hebrew this February by Am Oved publishing house, and then later that month in Germany by Hanser Verlag: (“Im Land der Verzweiflung”). Baram began his journey a couple of months before the war in Gaza (summer 2014) and finished it in the end of 2015 after the new wave of violence erupts. Some of the chapters were published in Haaretz newspaper.

Baram meets a variety of people over the course of this journey: Palestinian-Israeli citizens trapped behind the Separation Wall in Jerusalem, a real no man’s land where neighborhoods have no municipal rule; children living in Kibbutz Nirim who experienced the war in Gaza, the rockets raining down on their homes; young Palestinians, the close friends of the Palestinian boy who was murdered by Jews. He experiences things like being held-up at occupation checkpoints with Palestinian laborers; meeting ex-prisoners from Hamas who have started a Hebrew language school in Ramallah, and ex-prisoners from Fatah who spent years detained in Israeli jails and who are now promoting a new peace initiative. He gets into a secluded settlers’ stronghold in the West Bank, and near Nablus he comes across two Palestinian boys tied up by the side of the road after allegedly trying to stab Israeli soldiers, only to find that the truth is something entirely different.

As the reportage is being written, both major and minor events take place throughout region: riots in the Temple Mount, the abduction of three Jewish boys, the murder of an Arab boy in Jerusalem, the war in Gaza, the building of a new Palestinian city, elections in Israel, a new wave of violence. Baram returns time and again to Jerusalem, the city where he was born and raised, discovering a huge, sprawling city that stretches to include places he’d never even heard of as a boy; a city where a hushed civil war is in full swing.

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World shadow in 2015 best book lists

January 1, 2016EN

World Shadow was chosen for the 2015 best book lists in :
NRC (Netherlands) De standdard (Belgium), Vanguardia (Spain),
Revista Gatopardo (Mexico), El pais global.
Eslobal (Spanish), DETOUR (Spain).

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World shadow publisher in The Netherlands and Belgium Released a cool and short trailer with many reviews: 5 stars in Nrc, 5 stars in Volkskrant, 5 stars in De Standaard, 4 stars in De morgen.

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de Volskatrat, one of The Netherlands most important newspapers, also publish a 5 stars review about world shadow: “An ambitious novel without borders. This is Hamlet of the 21st Century.”

to read full review online press: read more

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Nir Baram talks about the novel WereldSchaduw but also about writing, how you turn a demon into a story, what does it mean to live in our time, Israel, Jews and Arabs history, fear and even hope.
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In the book supplement of the leading Belgium newspaper De Standraad World Shadow receive a 5 stars review (the highest possible) from Maria Vlaar also in the supplement a substantial interview with Nir Baram:
“Baram looks at the world from all angles, which means his novels can be read in several ways. He is slippery in that way, which reminds me of Hugo Claus. A great personality who shows many different facets of the world to his readers, who writes openly about everything that’s on his mind, but who, ultimately, doesn’t show everything.”
“The revolution that the strike leaders fight for is one of biblical proportions. In the same way in which in some science fiction movies ‘the civilized world’ is flooded by water or taken by aliens -the city of London burns in Wereldschaduw. Everything comes to an end is what Baram seems to say in this stunnig novel.”

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Nir Baram will participate in an evening in De Balie culture center (organized also by Gate 48) in Amsterdam. Baram will talk about his journey in the occupied West Bank and the reportage “Walking the Green line” and his new novel World Shadow.

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Nir Baram opens the Book supplement of the Belgium newspaper “De morgen” with 3 pages of interview and review by the writer Daan Heerma van Voss: “The rebel in Nir Baram, Israel most promising writer”. The head line of the review is “Power meets punk”.

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In a long one page review “world Shadow” receives 5 stars (the highest rate) in NRC book supplement. The review was written by the editor of the supplement Michel Krielaars:
“After ‘Good People’ Baram, the best young writer in Israel, proves his telnet once again with an overwhelming novel. As soon as you have finished World Shadow, you seriously wonder how it is possible a world strike hasn’t broken out in the real world, this is how shocked you are about the perverse workings of the system which Baram confronts you with. After finishing this brilliant written and Frighteningly urgent novel you are convinced something drastically has to change in our society dominated by hunger for money and power. For this fact alone Baram deserves a place in the front line of modern literature”

to read the whole review press read more

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Nir Baram’s one year journey in the occupied West Bank which documented in the reportage “walking the green line” (Haaretz newspaper) finished in the Palestinian village of Bartta with these words: “In a deeper sense, we need to acknowledge the fact that the situation will not change as a result of a peace deal in the Camp David or Geneva style, and that the problem does not lie in plans for an agreement. Indeed, there are plenty of creative plans, some of which were discussed in this series. In order to create the conditions that are required for a solution of the conflict, in order for us to be able to address all the possible “solutions,” a moral upheaval is required within Israeli society, based on the acceptance of one simple principle: whether in one state, two states or a confederation, Jew and non-Jew must be equal in all respects.The Jewish-Israeli propaganda machinery is dedicated to undercutting that principle, to turning it into a fantastical whisper of the naive. But that is the principle – not two states or one state – that must never be compromised.”

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Why I Love This book

September 9, 2015EN

AFTER Manuscripta festival Nir Baram precipitated in the popular project in The Netherlands “Why I love this Book”: a one minute talk about your own novel…

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An interview in the Belgium Magazine Humo with the writer Mark Schaevers : “Dit keer brengt hij een gegarandeerde topper van 2015 mee: Wereldschaduw…‘Wereldschaduw’ is een panoramische roman over onze hyperkapitalistische tijden, waarin drie verhaallijnen even innig met elkaar verweven zijn als de werelddelen in de globale economie. Een geestig boek van een overtuigend stilist die een groot onderwerp te pakken heeft: wat kan het nog beletten om wereldwijd de lezersharten te veroveren?”

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In the first week of September World Shadow will hit the book stores in the Netherlands and Belgium. Nir Baram Will come to the Netherlands in the beginning of September and will be in Maunscripta festival,Eilandfestival in Antwerp, and many other events during September.

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Acompanied by a photographer and a desire to hear the voices that are not normally featured in the media, award-winning novelist Nir Baram journeyed extensively around Israel and the West Bank during the past year. The chapters that constitute “Walking the Green Line” paint a complex political picture. This is the 7 chapter: is a religious peace possible? what does it means? Baram visits Otniel yeshiva and The Field, Gush Etzion bloc, Winter 2015

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A short History of Death

July 7, 2015EN

A short History of Death

At night I would prowl the empty corridors of the house and stop at the threshold of my parent’s room. I would stand behind the door, bend over and peek through the keyhole at my mother’s slender form. Curled up on the right side of the bed, the thick sheets covering her body, her head disappearing among them. Misery had descended on my mother since the sickness had invaded her body. Again and again she argued with Fate, asked for explanations, quoting the line she would mutter every year at the memorial for her mother Sarah: “lords pursued me in vain.”

One summer day, towards the end of the last year of her illness, we wandered through the cemetery looking for Grandmother Sarah’s grave. “Plot B, Row 4,” said my father, whose memory was his greatest pride. “No, it’s next to the black tombstone,” whispered my uncle tiredly, wiping the perspiration from his face. At one stage we all turned to Ran, who was known to have a perfect memory that preserves our history in his body.
When finally we found the grave, we stood around it and conducted the memorial. At its base there was the clear, unarticulated understanding that the daughter’s fate would be the same as the mother’s, and that was that.

Towards the end of the memorial she went up to the grave and said: “Don’t worry, Mother, I’ll be there soon too.” After that she turned to us with an arrogant smile lighting up her face, as though to mock us for artificial delicacy. Ran looked at her with great concentration, and suddenly I realized how he remembered everything: While we were all trapped in the moment, he was already organizing it as a memory.
In the car, my mother said: “When I was still a little girl, I learned about death. My life has always sheltered in its shadow. Ever since Grandmother Sarah died it has been humming around me relentlessly: repressed enough so that I would struggle with the mornings, not repressed enough so that I could fall asleep at night.”

That night I sat down to write an assay called “A Short History of Death.” Ran’s ability to remember everything was threatening to me. Every time I looked at him I imagined an abundance of memories organized like books on a shelf and felt that he was robbing us of the days to which all of us had been partner. Wrapping up every event, taking it from us and clearing out.
Right on the very first night of writing I discovered that I could not stop lying: I forged letters; I brought down a terrible plague that attacked all the residents of the street; I wrapped every event in exaggerations, splendor, terror; I characterized every one of our acquaintances with a certain characteristics and all of them were plotting against us. Every night, as I gazed at my mother through the keyhole, I would remember the aim of the project and take an oath to tell the truth. But I always went back to lying. I interpreted the fact that I did not describe what happened as a weakness, cowardice, a wicked gesture that was aimed at getting me away from dealing with those difficult days. The first sentence in the story was: “We learned the history of death/ not the one that isn’t ours/ which doesn’t interest us/ we aren’t philosophers.”

The task of learning death, writing it out of the experience of that woman, my mother-grandmother, was like throwing a ball at the wall: The look always came back to me blinded, humiliated in the dearth of knowledge. It was clear that we who were surrounding her would not be able to share the experience of the woman who knew that soon she would no longer exist. Against our will, we are planning our life without her, And she understands this, knowing that our imagination is already staging life after her. Indeed, we who trying to save her from the loneliness and will also accompany her in her death will always remain on the outside of her experience. She is receding from us, all the time, as though she senses this gap between us that grows wider all the time. The more we try to be close to her she recedes, fading in that twilit space and none of us can accompany her there. Compared to her, we are so alive.

The more the story progressed, the more its failures multiplied: Because there is no truth in it, it will not constitute completion for Ran’s memory, and I got no closer to my mother’s real death. After months and 20 pages I got tired of “A short History of Death” but did not yet dare to abandon it. I believed that it was my obligation to keep the heroine alive. Innumerable times I brought her close to the end of the story, and always, at the last minute, I stretched out a hand and brought her back to the realm of the living.
One day I tore the first page off the block of paper and placed it on my mother’s bed. That whole day I did not dare come home. Late at night I cautiously opened the door, waiting for accusatory lights from the living room, the worried voices of my parents. The house was dark and apart from the strains of “The Palaces of Versailles” coming from the phonograph in ran’s room, there was silence. When I passed by the door to my parents’ room in the corridor, I was called in. After they quizzed me with a few irrelevant questions, I was allowed to go about my business. Heavily, I sat down on my bed, pondering the meaning of the strange reception, and suddenly I discovered the first page lying on my pillow, its bottom part covered by the blanket, like a small child. With a red pen, there were about 10 corrections of the language marked on the page, and here and there superfluous words were crossed out.

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Nir Baram writes: well, ten days after my son Daniel was born I did this conversation with the writer PAUL AUSTER as part of a special newspaper project for our Book Week. It was something we scheduled a long time before it actually happened. Obviously, I was not ready and confused, but Auster was really understanding and generous and the entire first part of the conversion was about fatherhood! The project was edited by a great literary journalist and editor – Elad Zeret, and it turned out wonderful, and it includes many interesting writers (Margaret Atwood ). Soon our conversation will be available in English. The headline was: “Does fatherhood make you a better writer?”

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The popular culture website and TV station ‘The Guilty Code” made a TV interview with Nir Baram :”The Best novel of the year arrived to Mexico”

 

 

 

to watch the full interview press read more

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A.B Yehoshua, one of Israel most celebrated authors, writes to Haaretz about Nir Barams reportage “walking the green Line”: “And even though Baram has firm political and ideological views to which, with civic courage, he voices in every public platform, in these articles he consistently quiets the political and ideological passion within him so as to become a most attentive listener, one who, with noteworthy patience and moderation, records things that under other circumstances would surely make his blood boil. As a writer, he brings a richness and linguistic precision to these articles, which make it impossible to avoid contemplating the absurd situation that we continue to fashion with our own hands.

“At the stage we have now reached, Nir Baram’s effort is of particular importance, as he puts his great literary talent to use in an attempt to break through Israeli denial.”

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An article in NEXOS, one of Mexico most important Magazines:

“While reading Nir Baram I thought of Dostoevsky’s Demons, and how one passes through pages and pages without knowing what is the question of the novel. However, at the end, I discovered to my surprise that there is nothing more fascinating than reflecting on the theme of “Demons”. Something similar happens to me with Nir Baram. I know the comparison is risky… Baram bursts onto the literary scene with novels written in a way that confronts readers with their deeds, novels that engage in dialogue with the narrative of the early and mid-twentieth century while demanding a reflection on the present and future. Two of them, “Good people” and “world Shadow” have captivated the world of literature.

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An article in the Mexican newspaper Excelsior: “Baram one of the most brilliant writers in the world today. World shadow is a brilliant novel that from different plots and angles shows us the whole world”

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