“At Night’s End” by Nir Baram is Longlisted for the prestigious JQ Wingate prize.

Nicole Krauss, Nir Baram, David Grossman, Martin Puchner,  are among the nominees for the Wingate Prize for 2022 with their “powerful expressions of the diversity of Jewish experience”. The Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize is an annual British literary prize inaugurated in 1977.

Baram’s novel was translated by Jessica Cohen, winner of the Booker award for 2017 and was published by ‘Text publishing’.

Past winners include VG Zebald, Zaidi Smith, Oliver Sachs, David Grossman and others.

Wingate doesn’t just recognise excellence in Jewish literature, it celebrates the rich diversity of Jewish life, creativity and thought. The entries this year represented that significantly. Our longlist was a real challenge to distil, as we had to choose 13 titles from some 70 entries.

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Tami Zar – Review on My Books Blog

October 10, 2021EN

I remember when I left a Santana concert somewhere in the 80s and I couldn’t think, I couldn’t put into words the intense feelings inside me. And maybe music wasn’t meant to be bent into words. When I finished reading The World is a Rumor I felt similar feelings, everything was confused inside me. I thought it couldn’t be that someone wrote something like this, in Hebrew. So I instantly read the whole book again. And to be absolutely sure I read it a third time. And now I can say responsibly that this is a great book. It’s a little problematic for me to say that it’s “a virtuoso book” because I said it about Nir Baram’s previous book, At Night’s End – yes, a virtuoso book in my opinion; only that The World is a Rumor is an even better book than the virtuoso predecessor.

 

′′I can see the dreams in their entirety, everything, and then return them to people in one sequence, like a memory, nothing disappears.” says one of the characters in the book. And Nir Baram can indeed, but it’s not just about dreams. He brings it all back, in one sentence, nothing slips away. Everything, I mean, life and everything.

 

Everything. And the intention in everything is everything that happens to a person inside, the continuum of thoughts, fears, dealing with every day, social connections, reactions, ideas, actions…-everything. The story tells of one character, Jonathan, but the accuracy in the descriptions of Jonathan’s experiences made me feel like the author turned me inside out and put on the page my whole inner world, or if you want: the inner world of every person. Yes, at first glance the reader may think that The World is a Rumor is a book in which the author tells about his life. And it may be so, I believe that every writer first draws from his own experiences. But the sources from which Baram created this “wonderful cake” is not the main thing. He took the best materials and created a wonderful symphony with them. It’s like he drew a map, a map of the inside. He managed to penetrate the inner chaos and put it on the page with such clarity until you can feel it, smell it or as it says in the book: ′′He showed her her nightly dreams with clarity, in one sequence, and she discovered more and more secrets that fell into the depths of her consciousness.”

 

And indeed it is about the depths, great travels in time, and consciousness. It felt like the great image of Gilgamesh who is unable to say goodbye to his good friend Enkidu spills over to Jonathan who refuses to say goodbye to his good friend Joel; despite their complex relationship. The lament on Joel, the love for him, threw me straight to Achilles’s tears on Patroclus. But I have no intention here to dive into the whole world of mythical and literary associations that The World is a Rumor is provoking, I guess respected professors at universities will do this for years.

 

As said, the book talks about ′′ life and everything ′′ and it also refers to the very contemporary present, which includes coronavirus, quarantine, and their social and personal impacts. It deals with tectonic changes in our lives, for example, the role of the father. Baram presents us with a father who until a few years ago had no right to exist. A father who describes feelings that every mother knows but until recently they allegedly belonged to mothers only, and here’s a quote – ′′Not long after Itamar was born, he started to feel beating in his body, another breath, another consciousness that he is occupied with. All his life, even when he loved people and even with Yoel in his childhood days, he was one in his consciousness, whereas after Itamar was born his consciousness split between him and the child. “ Fatherhood is one of the main topics in the book and it is tested in many directions including the society’s attitude to the change that is happening.

 

As said, the book is about life and it has everything, dreams, irritating events from the past that refuse to die. Show me one Human being in the world that doesn’t know this turbulence – bigotry, torment, friendships, relationship, parenting, loves. And besides, there is also a great story and there is suspense… What more can you ask for?  What a privilege that I can read this fine book in its original language. Welcome it with stormy applause – The World is a Rumor by Nir Baram. (Tami Zar, Review, My Books, Blog)

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A dazzling portrait of wild youth and love on the on hand and of fatherhood and love on the other. Baram ability to crack open the nature of human existence’ the fascinating plot, the combination of Israeli reality and a world of mystery with a fantastic touch – are just part of the the book’s power. it is a contemporary and original masterpiece.

(writer and reviewer Anat Einhar, “Hebrew”, Critic choice)

A wonderful and again wonderful novel. a book you can not stop reading, and will make every reader emotional with a desire to look at its life”

(Yoav Ginai, National Radio)

A moving, surprising. exiting novel that miraculously balance reality and imagination, a must Read!”

(Noam Partom, Ynet)

“Fatherhood, friendship, love and betrayal, politics, Corona, imagination and reality are all mixed up in this wonderful and exciting novel, just read it”

(Keren Agmon, “only Books”)

 

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The World is a Rumor/ Abstract

September 9, 2021EN

          Yonatan, an Israeli author haunted by the death of his best friend, sets off on a journey with his young son. They climb a mountain on which, rumor has it, lives a man with an extraordinary talent: he can make people’s memories disappear. As it turns out, the man on the mountain has been waiting for Yonatan for a long time. 

The encounter between them motivates Yonatan to investigate a mystery connected to his friend’s death and to the great loves of his life. So instead of his memories disappearing, Yonatan’s present is invaded by his past.

            He creates rich imaginary worlds for his son, like the ones he dreamed up in his childhood, and the two immerse themselves in these worlds with great passion—perhaps too great. When the pandemic begins, Yonatan is determined to shield his son from lock-downs and isolation, and their world is taken over by imaginary play. Are they losing control? Is Yonatan bringing back demons from his past and letting them into his son’s life?

            Yonatan gradually learns more about The man from the mountain: his name is Michael, although he once had other names. He used to erase people’s memories, but he also had ways to manipulate their dreams. When it all spiraled out of control, he disappeared for many years and has only recently resurfaced.

            But Michael disappeared again, clearly hiding something from Yonathan, and Yonatan goes on his own search. In his mind he travels two decades back, to his unstable relationship with his father. He also revisits a love triangle which ended in a betrayal that cost him his best friend and the girl they both loved. Was that where everything fell apart? Only when he discovers the tower where Michael is hiding, he will know truth.

            Yonatan’s quest leads him to places he never intended to reach, and he takes his beloved son with him. The integrity of his family is threatened by the search. but it also offers hope for freedom and a healing of the fissures.

            Nir Baram has written several best-sellers (including Good People, World Shadow, and At Night’s End), and his books have been translated into many languages and are critically acclaimed in both Israel and around the world. Three of his novels were short-listed for Israel’s prestigious Sapir Prize. His latest, The World is a Rumor, plunges into the passions, fears and loves that are always with us, and tells an unsettling and heartrending story of a father’s love for his son, of parents and children, the fragility of family, reality and imagination, the burning desire for intimacy with our loved ones, and the struggle to genuinely live in the present.

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Review “The world is a rumor”

September 9, 2021EN

A dazzling portrait of wild youth and love one the one hand and of fatherhood and love on the other. Baram ability to crack open the nature of human existence’ the fascinating plot, the combination of Israeli reality and a world of mystery with a fantastic touch – are just part of the the book’s power. it is a contemporary and original masterpiece.

(writer and reviewer Anat Einhar, “Hebrew”, Critic choice)

“A wonderful and again wonderful novel. a book you can not stop reading, and will make every reader emotonal and with  desire to look at its life”

(Yoav Ginai, National Radio)

A moving, surprising. exiting novel that miraculously balance reality and imagination, a must Read!”

(Noam Partom, Ynet)

“Fatherhood, friendship, love and betrayal, politics, Corona, imagination and reality are all mixed up in this wonderful and exciting novel, just read it”

(Keren Agmon, “only Books”)

Review by the veteran critic Ran Ben-Nun. Yediot Aharonot. (29.8.2021)

“Yonathan, a writer in his early 40s, takes his son Itamar on a journey. They climb a mountain, where on the top of it: there is a man that can save him. Maybe.

Yonathan can not get rid of the memories that hunts him, he envisions all the time his best friend that committed suicide 4 years ago.

That’s how “The World is a Rumor” begins.

Yonathan askes the man from the mountain, who poses a dangerous talent, to muffle his memories, so they can be less lucid and painful. It’s not obvious that this is what he needs. But certainly, he needs a change: Yonathan is restless, angry, bursts on strangers with no reason, and it seems that the only thing he cares about is his son Itamar.

Baram goes back 20 years to the past, when after the army service – Yonathan and Yoel went to London together. Yoel at that time was in an eternal on and off relationship with Tali: their best friend from childhood and the painful part in a difficult, complicated impossible triangle between Yoel Yonathan and her. A triangle of love and betrayal that maybe led Yoel to this early death.

Baram is a magician of complicated and challenging relationships between human beings. It’s not clear why people are together or separate, but suddenly it happens – a light comes and with the light wonderful observations about people and their inner world that only Baram can describe in such a wonderful way. Clearly Baram is one of the top writers in Israel today.

In the Yonathan character, you can see the young Baram character who is sure that his first book was published only because of his father, a famous politician.

But The most important character that comes from Baram new novel is Yonathan the father, totally devoted to his son. In Barams novel fatherhood is total, existential, even spiritual, every fiber in Yonathan being is connected to this son. And when your marriage is torn apart, friendships collapse, and the world loses its meaning, all that you have is simply being a father.”

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Nir Barams new novel “The world is a rumor” was published in Israel on the 25/8/2021.

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‘At Night’s End’ will be published in Australia on 29/9/2020. Translated by Jessica Cohen – Winner of the 2017 Booker prize – and published by ‘Text publishing’. Publication in US and UK will be in early 2021.

At Night’s End is a compassionate and personal novel about an extraordinary friendship between two boys who become men haunted by a shared past. It is also a universal story of family and love, and of the power of memory and imagination.

‘A masterpiece: This book will crawl under your skin and will not let go.‘ (NRC)

‘Skilfully, Baram plunges into the world in between: between life and death, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, between being a child and being a father, love and hate, day and night, intoxication and sobriety.’ (Aargauer Zeitung)

‘Baram is the best writer in his generation with no comparison.’ (A. B. Yehoshua)

‘Baram’s novels have the flair, emotional depth, and wealth of ideas of the great 19th-century Russian authors. A complex, deeply felt but never sentimental bildungsroman…A wonderful tribute to the people dearest to him.‘ (De TiJd)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Excited that “At Night End” was chosen by NRC editors as one of the best books of 2020 so far 

“This overwhelming novel by Nir Baram focuses on a friendship that has been watered down, but was once paradise. And then there is the guilt of a son towards his dead mother. It is all so recognizable. And that is exactly what makes Baram’s books so great. Baram takes you into the depths of the soul. This book will sit on your skin and will let you go quickly.”

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Barams Oscar winning documentary now with English subtitles. 

People asked us about the documentary “Land without Borders” who won the Israeli Oscar in 2018 and describes Barams journey in the West Bank.
The documentary is based on his Book. So everyone was working hard to make it available for watching on demand.

Its a documentary made with no assistance from the movies foundation, which is rare and yet more than 150000 people watched it.

in these days it possible to book a Zoom event with Baram about the movie and the book.

to see tralier click read more:

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The international literature festival “Crossing Border” invited Baram to a zoom interview with jasper Henderson about his Best Seller “At Night End” that was published in Nederland 3 month ago. The moving conversation was really about so many things – friendship, loyalty, betrayal, memory, love, writing, Hi school, 80s, Growing up in the Jerusalem where kids believe they have to be good soldiers, and more.

Now its all online here.. https://youtu.be/zXIRgQC1xuk

also by clicking read more

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Alfaguara will publish ‘At Nights End’ in Spanish

June 6, 2020EN

The Spanish prestige publishing House part of Penguin Random House will publish the novel in the Spanish speaking world in the middle of 2021.

Alfaguara also published Baram novels “Good People” and “World Shadow”

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“In Erwachen Baram unfolds a dazzling and increasingly clear and threatening mirror game that keeps the reader in suspense and on the go for 350 pages: The transition from childhood to adulthood breaks through Jonathan like an avalanche, from happiness to misfortune, from life to death…”

By Erich Klein in Ex Libris magazine: Worth to listen to the whole 8 minutes Radio Review here.

to listen to the whole review in ORF- Austria National Radio click read more

 

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Really Interesting review about ‘Awakening’ in WOZ by Ulrike Baureithel that begins like a story-

“The dry valley, a wadi, runs east of Jerusalem through the desert to Jericho. The yellow house in which twelve-year-old Jonathan lives is separated from it only by a street. At the end of the eighties, it is still a dark, mysterious place, bordered by the forest, the military factory and the “high towers”, where the children live, with whom the teenagers of Beit Hakerem are hostile ..”

to read the hole review click read more

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“Awakening” is a strong autobiographical novel. and is therefore very different from Baram’s novels “Good People” and “World Shadow’.

“Skilfully, Baram plunges into the world in between: between life and death, childhood, adolescence and adulthood, between being a child and being a father, love and hate, day and night, intoxication and sobriety.

Jonathan’s professional world is also shaped by this duality , when the writer creates a new world between reality and fantasy, draws from memories and yet changes them beyond recognition, sometimes even destroys them to create something new.”

to read the whole review click read more

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Nir Baram gave n interview to the dutch daily newspaper Volkskrant:

“The search for answers has resulted in At the End of the Night, Baram’s third novel translated into Dutch. It is a coming-of-age story and requiem in one. No prose that you surf over, but that you drag into the depths. It makes him “the best writer of his generation,” said writer A.B. Yehoshua, one of the patriarchs of Israeli literature.”

to read the full interview click read more

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Nir Baram in an interview to ‘Neuen Zürcher Zeitung’ about “Erwachen” (The German translation to “At Night’s End) and also talks about Corona and isolation, death, childhood and imagination, writing, fatherhood and how close the protagonist of “At Night End” to his experiences.

«Du weisst nicht, was im Inneren des Menschen vorgeht, der neben dir steht.» Nir Baram versucht, dieses Rätsel zu lösen

Zwei tiefe Verlusterfahrungen verarbeitet der israelische Autor in seinem neuen Roman. Er spricht über den Blick auf die Vergangenheit, die sich ständig verändert – und über die Gefahr, sich in ihr zu verlieren.

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‘At Night’s End’ is on the Best sellers list in Nederland in NRC Newspaper.

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‘At Nights End’ in the Best-Sellers list of NRC newspaper. The second edition of the novel was already printed. In Israel the novel was number 1 in the best seller list had had 6 editions so far.

to see full list in NRC click read more.

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The novel tells very precisely and powerfully about instinctively executed liberation strikes as well as life and writing crises. The narrator wants to find “a grain of truth” and make it tangible. He reached his goal.” ( Sigrid Brinkmann, Deutschlandfunk Kultur)

https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/nir-baram-erwachen-lebenskrisen-und-befreiungsschlaege.950.de.html?dram:article_id=472050

“Erwachen is hard stuff, told powerfully, with a tendency to become breathless, sometimes hyperventilating. And also borne by the counter-tendency of calm storytelling, the development of intimate scenes: Nir Baram has an excellent feeling for the right mix of tension and relaxation, the play from near and far and for sudden tipping moments.” ( Frank Keil, juedische Allgemeine)

to read the full review click read more

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“This book will crawl under your skin and will not let go”

The cover of the prestige NRC books supplement, one of Nederlands leading and most popular newspapers, was dedicated to “At Night’s End”. The headline: “Paradise in the Desert: again Nir Baram has written world literature” followed by a brilliant 5 stars review by Michel krielaars : the editor of the books supplement.

“In his new overwhelming novel, the great Israeli writer Nir Baram takes you to the depths of his soul . This book will crawl under your skin and will not let go”

“Again it results in an intriguing story, that excels in the deep psychology of the main characters and the deft composition. Again, Nir Baram has written world literature.”

“In the intensity in which Baram has written the novel and in the merciless manner in which he sets up the distant family ties, he literary equals Amos Oz, who also wrote about a mother who was inaccessible to her son in his autobiographical novel “A story of love and darkness”. It explains why Oz recognized Barams literary greatness when he read “Good People.”

to read the full review click read more

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Lately The Israeli national radio chose the best 70 novels in Israels history.

“World Shadow” Nir Barams novel was chosen as one of them.

to read the judges remarks on “World Shadow” click read more

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