Translated by Yael Segalovitz
Alice James Books Translation Series Selection
“This remarkable cycle of poems by Shimon Adaf on his sister's death has been beautifully translated by Yael Segalovitz in language that is vigorous and compactly eloquent, nicely conveying the arresting and sometimes surreal inventiveness of the Hebrew. This may be the finest set of Hebrew poems on the death of a sibling since those of Shmuel Hanagid, the great poet of eleventh-century Granada, on the death of his brother.”
Available in print.
Yael Segalovitz is the translator into Hebrew of Clarice Lispector’s A Via Crucis do Corpo (Ha-kibutz Ha-me’uchad Press, 2015). She is currently completing her graduate studies at UC Berkeley’s Comparative Literature Department. Her research spans Israeli, Brazilian, and English twentieth century literature and she translates between the three languages. Her poetry translations have appeared in Mantis (2016), Two-Lines (2015) and T-joLT (2014).
Shimon Adaf is one of the most vibrant, restless and stirring voices in contemporary Hebrew literature (both prose-fiction and poetry). He has so far written three poetry collections and eight books of prose fiction. For his first book of poems, Icarus' Monologue (1997), Adaf won the Israeli Ministry of Education Prize and parts of it have been included in the Israeli high school literature curriculum. For his fifth novel, Mox Nox (2011), Adaf won the prestigious Israeli Sapir Prize (2013) and his third novel, Sunburned Faces (2008), published in English by PS press (2013), appeared on The Guardian’s list of the best science fiction for 2013, alongside Stephen King and Margaret Atwood.
“What can poetry do? One of its most ancient offices is providing words for mourning. Shimon Adaf’s elegy to his sister, which ranges from the psalms to the internet, reflects his loss, and her life, in words and silences, rhythms, punctuation, and breath—all beautifully captured in Yael Segalovitz’s translation.”
“Shimon Adaf’s poetry is a powerful current, unstoppable before anything or anyone. In Aviva-No the artificiality of what power seeks to naturalize is emotionally and lucidly revealed. To achieve it, our poet even rebels against the Hebrew learned in school, the synagogue, and at home. And the result is a poetic language of its own, where the daring image and an unusual rhythm stand out, and to which Yael Segalovitz’s translation does justice.”
—Víctor Rodríguez Núñez
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