Writer in residence programme 2018

Emuna Elon as WiR in Amsterdam

9-22 April 2018

From 9 until 22 April the Israeli journalist and author Emuna Elon will be working and living as a writer-in-residence in Amsterdam, upon invitation by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. During her stay, Elon will be giving several lectures about her work, in specific about her first novel that saw a Dutch translation: Sonja’s zoon (translated by Hilde Pach, Atlas Contact). Moreover, Elon will be working on a new novel during her residency.

During her visit to the Netherlands a few years ago, Emuna Elon (1955) was intrigued by the large-scale persecution of the Jewish population in Amsterdam during the Second World War. She decided to write a novel in which the main character visits the Jewish History museum and discovers that his mother has been lying about her past. He finds out by recognizing her on a photograph displayed on the wall of the museum. Elon weaves a psychological thriller around this fact. Upon the publication of this novel, Ba-jit al ma-jim rabim (House on Endless Waters), author Amos Oz said the following about it on the website of The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature: “I read this book in excitement and wonder. It’s not only a touching and fascinating book, but a sophisticated one as well.”

Because of the theme and the location of the novel, translator Hilde Pach thought it would be particularly well suited for the Dutch market. Atlas Contact publishers saw the potential of this psychological thriller and bought the translation rights. In March 2018 they introduced Elon to the Dutch reader with the publication of Sonja’s zoon.

Emuna Elon was born in Jerusalem to a family of rabbis and scholars, and was raised in Jerusalem and New York. She teaches Judaism, Hassidism and Hebrew literature, and has served as advisor to the Prime Minister on the status of Israeli women. She has published essays, short stories, popular children’s books and a number of bestselling novels. Her novel If You Awaken Love got translated into English and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award (2007). Elon received the Book Publishers Association’s Gold Book Prize (2010) for her novel Inscribe My Name, the Aminach Prize for Beyond My Sight (2014) and the Prime Minister’s Prize (2015).

During her stay in Amsterdam, Elon will talk about her work during events at the Openbare Bibliotheek at Roelof Hartplein (Sunday 15 April, 14.00) and in Athenaeum Boookstore Roeterseiland (Wednesday 18 April, 19.30), among other events.


Amos Oz: "I read this book in excitement and wonder. It’s not only a touching and fascinating book, but a sophisticated one as well."

Maaike Pereboom


Maaike Pereboom

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