Sally Rooney bans Hebrew translation of novel to protest Palestine conflict
Acclaimed author Sally Rooney has reportedly rejected a bid to translate her latest novel into Hebrew over her views on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Rooney, 30, was catapulted to fame by her debut novel Conversations with Friends, and Normal People, which was long-listed for the Booker Prize and became a TV adaptation – both novels were translated into Hebrew.
Her latest creation Beautiful World, Where Are You has topped UK and Irish book charts since its release last month, but the Irish author has turned down a translation bid from Modan, an Israeli publisher, according to The Times.
Rooney’s agent confirmed the news to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “When Modan approached Rooney’s agent in an attempt to sign another translation deal, the agent announced that Rooney supports the cultural boycott movement on Israel and therefore does not approve translation into Hebrew.,” the newspaper wrote.
Dr Gitit Levy-Paz a fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute said she was “surprised and saddened” by Rooney’s decision.
“I am a Jewish and Israeli woman, but I am also a literary scholar who believes in the universal power of art,” she wrote. “The very essence of literature, its power to bring a sense of coherence and order to the world, is negated by Rooney’s choice to exclude a group of readers because of their national identity.”
Levy-Paz said that while Rooney has the right to express her views and criticise others she warned that “a boycott, especially a cultural one, is among the most slippery of slopes.”
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