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After Kamila Shamsie, another author says no to Israel publication

Nothing against the language, just Israeli publishers

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Oct 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie took a stand against Israel in 2019 by saying that she was a supporter of the BDS or Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement for which she was stripped of a literary prize. Now Sally Rooney, the author of Normal People, has joined the list after Shamsie, of writers who have taken a position.

Rooney declined to have translations of her latest work published in Hebrew. Her new novel is Beautiful World, Where are You. The Irish writer turned down an Israeli publisher.

In response to Rooney’s news, Kamila Shamsie tweeted that this decision was not an indictment of the Hebrew language, but was about a boycott of the Israeli state.

Kamila Shamsie’s books were published in Israel but the last one was Burnt Shadows which was translated into Hebrew in 2010 by Keter. But since then, she declined to agree to any other. Her position was that she was happy to have her work translated to Hebrew but not by an Israeli publisher.

Shamsie is not the only writer to have taken this stand. British writer China Mieville who writes science fiction and fantasy also refused a Hebrew translation.

In July there was an uproar when ice-cream makers Ben & Jerry’s said that it would not sell in the Israeli settlements.

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