Talk

Advanced search

November Book of the Month: Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Join the webchat with the author and her translator on Monday 14 November, 9pm.

(109 Posts)
UrsulaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Oct-16 17:24:00

November's book of the month is the gripping literary thriller Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen.

You can expect to miss your stop and lose hours to this consuming tale, based on a true event, about a respected Israeli neurosurgeon whose split-second decision one evening leaves him spiralling into a web of deception, corruption and guilt.

Apply for one of 50 free copies before 14 October, read the book over the next few weeks and join us back here on 14 November 9-10pm to discuss it and put questions to Ayelet and the book's translator, Sondra Silverston.

If you're not lucky enough to bag a free copy, we'd still love for you to come and join in the discussion - buy a paperback here.

OhNoNotMyBaby Mon 10-Oct-16 12:49:53

Me please! I cannot resist a book offer... and this one sounds a bit different to my normal chick lit, romcom, family drama-type reading list. I'm particularly interested in how everyday lives are totally transformed on the turn of a sixpence...

SpecialStains Mon 10-Oct-16 15:41:42

Ooh, me too! I love books with a medical theme. Need to get back into reading while I'm on mat leave. I've been quite lazy of late.

Emmageddon Mon 10-Oct-16 15:46:30

Oh this sounds brilliant. I like being introduced to new authors.

objectsintherearviewmirror Mon 10-Oct-16 16:43:09

Oooh this sounds brilliant. I would love one please!

Jizzomelette Mon 10-Oct-16 17:33:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

highlandcoo Mon 10-Oct-16 17:43:10

Please could I have a copy .. sounds like a great read.

Fergusmum Mon 10-Oct-16 17:52:20

Sounds like something I would really enjoy. The v short clip has already interested me. Many thanks

user1474825542 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:21:50

Me please

needastrongone Mon 10-Oct-16 20:29:02

Yes please, more than happy to read and review.

mummymummums Mon 10-Oct-16 20:49:45

I would love a copy please

Greymalkin Mon 10-Oct-16 21:17:44

Yes please - I'm trying to break out of my comfort zone, away from the same type of book all the time.

Looking to try new authors and styles, so count me in please

whatwoulddexterdo Mon 10-Oct-16 21:31:19

I would LOVE a copy. I spent awhile in Israel in my younger days and this story sounds very interesting. Fingers x

FeelingSmurfy Tue 11-Oct-16 00:46:44

This sounds really interesting, the fact that it is based on a true event brings up mixed thoughts and I think it would be good for my book group to read and discuss

913535username1 Tue 11-Oct-16 11:44:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

PlasticBertrand Tue 11-Oct-16 15:03:07

I'd love a copy, having started the recent thread on translated books, but I'm not in the uk so I can't fill in the application form fully. Bummer.

BagelGoesWalking Tue 11-Oct-16 16:18:40

In would love a copy and promise to read it super quick before Friday!

shinebright14 Wed 12-Oct-16 02:50:35

The Book sounds really interesting I would really love a copy.

shinebright14 Tue 18-Oct-16 09:57:28

Has anyone received the book?

Needastrongone Tue 18-Oct-16 15:56:37

Nope, or any notification or similar.

OhNoNotMyBaby Thu 20-Oct-16 12:56:35

My copy has just arrived! grin

Really looking forward to getting stuck into this one. Thanks Mumsnet.

OhNoNotMyBaby Thu 20-Oct-16 12:57:10

FWIW I didn't receive a notification to say I had been selected. Not that it matters...

shinebright14 Thu 20-Oct-16 14:14:43

Received my copy this morning grin

minsmum Thu 20-Oct-16 19:19:08

Mine came this afternoon

Needastrongone Thu 20-Oct-16 19:24:06

I have a package to pick up from the delivery office, but thinking a book would go through the letter box? smile

horseyrider Thu 20-Oct-16 20:27:35

My copy arrived today. Really looking forward to starting it!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 21-Oct-16 11:52:33

We're sorry we didn't get round to notifying you before the books arrived, the publisher beat us to it blush. We will drop an email before the end of the day to all those who were selected. If you haven't been lucky, then do buy a copy and join the discussion.

CountTessa Wed 26-Oct-16 10:21:49

Got my copy too. Sounds really exciting. Just got to finish the Wonder Boys first.

horseyrider Fri 28-Oct-16 14:53:47

Just finished my copy. Good beginning, interesting focus on the doctors guilt in chapter two. Fascinating to read about life in Israel. Not my usual type of thriller though.

jammy388 Fri 28-Oct-16 16:19:48

I never guessed how this was going to end, and it raised all sorts of questions about guilt, morality, racism and judging others, with no easy answers. The main characters seemed complex and believable, though the surgeon's wife seemed incredibly well organised in view of her demanding job. The narrative was flowing - a tribute to both author and translator I think - though noticeably Americanised for a UK reader.

OhNoNotMyBaby Fri 28-Oct-16 20:04:47

I have to admit I've given up today. I feel it's a 'worthy' book but I'm finding it very difficult to plough through. The plot is a very interesting one, as are the the themes - racism, exile, atonement, truth - but I can't get engaged.

The over-lengthy examinations of sleep - the insistence on the importance of reconnecting by telling your dreams.... the sorting laundry as an example of how separate but connected we are... the intricate detail of cutting out labels from shirts.. Sorry, but I don't want this kind of stuff in the books I read.

I think this is my problem rather than the author's or translators' - I do think the book poses challenging and interesting questions but tbh, I don't have the energy to engage. My life revolves around children, money, money, money, will I be made redundant next week...

The failing is mine, not the book's.

minsmum Sat 29-Oct-16 22:33:49

I have now suggested this for our next book club read. What a fabulous choice of book. Can I ask how you picked it?

FawnDrench Sun 30-Oct-16 13:01:51

Thank you for the copy of the "Waking Lions", which I was looking forward to reading.
Well I have stalwartly persevered and managed to finish it, though I doubted I would actually manage to reach the end of the book at times.

It's an interesting book, but somewhat repetitive in its relentless examination and comparisons of guilt, desire, sexism, discrimination, greed and retribution, and many other emotions.
I didn't think it really answered any of the angst-ridden conundrums it posed, as practically everyone in the book was guilty of something and their actions were justifiable (to them at least)

The first half of the book was far too long, but the second half was much better and had a more exciting feel to it, as the story developed at last.

I became increasingly irritated with the over-use of brackets throughout the text, finding it cumbersome and unnecessary. Don't know if this was because the book was translated or not, but either way, it was very annoying.

No mention of a lion until over 200 pages in, and even then it was a tenuously linked anecdote.
Should have had a better title - goodness knows there were enough similes and metaphors to inspire the author, rather than "waking lions", which was a bit daft really.

The story was engaging but I couldn't warm to any of the characters, and the wife being a detective was very convenient.

I think this would be a good read for a Book Club as it would probably promote a lot of discussion and debate.

So all in all, I'm glad I read it, but sadly, the book didn't grip me in the way I was hoping it would.

aristocat Mon 31-Oct-16 14:56:13

A very interesting book which I enjoyed, so different to my usual thriller books.

My main concern was that Eitans behaviour after the accident was quite unbelievable. However this is central to the story. Who knows how we would react to a situation like this?

It was a challenging read for me and I also noticed the overuse of brackets, why?

Rae1000 Tue 01-Nov-16 13:33:46

Just starting to read now. Seems much more of a read than my usual "swich off" books. I like that though. Will update soon! Thanks

Angelasw Sat 05-Nov-16 13:09:01

I loved, loved, loved this book. Compulsive reading. So glad I picked up the post. Read late into the night and will follow this author.

It was a story around an easy to imagine event, turning into a nightmare scenario, with unpredictable consequences which got worse with time for the poor narrator himself, then his family and his work. At the same time, it was fascinating how two of the main characters changed in their feelings towards each other as time went on - brought on by being forced out of their comfort zones and previous life experience.

My type of book. Thanks Mumsnet. Wish I hadn't deleted thread of recommendationspace on books in translation from anot her language

Belo Sun 06-Nov-16 15:14:08

Thanks for my copy of the book mumsnet. I've started reading it and it has cooked me even in my current jetlagged state!

Is it too early to ask Ayelet a (perhaps ignorant) question? Or, perhaps somebody else knows the answer? Liat refers to herself as being in a minority group and coming from Or Akiva. I think of Israel as being a Jewish state (whether that is right or wrong is another matter). But, within the Jewish race in Israel are there different ethnic minorities some of whom suffer from discrimination? I like to think that as Jewish people have themselves been the subject of discrimination they would not discriminate against other members of their faith. Am I being naive?

Belo Sun 06-Nov-16 15:14:31

Thanks for my copy of the book mumsnet. I've started reading it and it has cooked me even in my current jetlagged state!

Is it too early to ask Ayelet a (perhaps ignorant) question? Or, perhaps somebody else knows the answer? Liat refers to herself as being in a minority group and coming from Or Akiva. I think of Israel as being a Jewish state (whether that is right or wrong is another matter). But, within the Jewish race in Israel are there different ethnic minorities some of whom suffer from discrimination? I like to think that as Jewish people have themselves been the subject of discrimination they would not discriminate against other members of their faith. Am I being naive?

BagelGoesWalking Wed 09-Nov-16 00:37:18

Belo yes, there is still a lot of discrimination/prejudice in Israel.
There are divisions between the Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews and Sephardic Jews (darker skinned Jews from mainly Arab countries, such as Morocco, Yemen, Syria etc).

The state's original "builders" and statesmen, army generals were nearly all Ashkenazi Jews, who were usually more educated, considered more cultured etc. Broadly, coming from Western Europe where education was probably more accessible and possible. Therefore, mainstream society until pretty recently was "built" using this bias of supposed superiority.

So you might presume that your Dr, lawyer and businessman might be from Ashkenazi stock and your builder, greengrocer and bank worker (but not bank manager) would be Sephardic. So programmes, radio etc would play music or feature characters using these general stereotypes. Sephardic Jews (again using stereotypes to demonstrate the point) would listen to more Arab-sounding music, think belly dancing versus Fiddler on the Roof style violins, say. One was considered "higher" culturally than the other. This is changing however and I think the younger generation there are much more equal and non-judgemental and will even out in future (although not completely).

Unfortunately, the Ethiopian Jews who were airlifted to Israel and, in the main, extremely religiously observant, were treated very badly, which can only be racism, I'm afraid.

You can see these stereotypes played out in the kind of jokes you would hear (in the late 80s/90s anyway) : Moroccans were the stupid ones, Persian (Parsi) Jews were the stingy ones etc.

Also, huge divisions between religious and non-religious groups, most people are very secular but religious groups hold a lot of power for their small numbers in elections, because of the proportional representation system, where a party with under 10 seats can hold the balance of power when trying to form a government. Therefore, they can make deals with the bigger political party which keeps religious bias higher on the agenda than it should be.

Sorry for the long essay, just my opinion obviously, but I did live there for nearly 10 years; it's complicated just like all things in the Middle East smile (hope it makes some kind of sense!)

Hygellig Wed 09-Nov-16 11:05:55

I enjoyed this book a lot.

I would like to ask Ayelet if she considered exploring the ethical and emotional dimensions of alternative scenarios. For example if Eitan hadn't left his wallet at the scene, it's unlikely that the police would have found that he was the hit and run driver, but having a death on his conscience might have had major repercussions on his life - or he might have gradually found himself thinking about it less and less.

I was also wondering if the novel has raised awareness of the plight of migrant workers and refugees in Israel.

To Sondra Silverston I would like to ask if there were any particular difficulties in translating the novel, for example turns of phrase that don't have an exact equivalent in English?

Belo Sat 12-Nov-16 07:53:14

Thank you Bagelgoeswalking for such a detailed answer! Really appreciated. Reading what you've said has made me think back to Linda Grant's book 'When I Lived in Modern Times' which is about the early days of the modern state Israel. I read that 15+ years ago. I'm going to have a search on my shelves and see if I've still got that. This book has certainly made me more interested in reading about / around the area.

cavylover Sun 13-Nov-16 09:58:18

An interesting moral tale which asks the question of the reader what they would do in the same situation? A complex but nevertheless absorbing story from start to end.

Belo Sun 13-Nov-16 10:43:44

All chores were ignored yesterday and I finished the book. The last 100 pages were compulsive reading!

As to the ending, did I miss something or has it been left open ended as to whether Eitan goes back to work in the hospital or not? To me it was unclear what we going to do (be allowed to do) next. My question to Ayelet is what does she see Eitan doing next? I think he's going to take some time off work and spend time concentrating on his wife and children. Eventually he will decide he wants to work for a humanitarian aid organisation.

Hygellig Sun 13-Nov-16 19:43:28

Belo, I assumed that he would resume his normal life, but some ambiguity remained at the end. It was interesting to consider the moral repercussions of not handing himself in at the time of the hit and run; for one thing, it led to the death of Mona; on the other hand, he saved many lives both in his day job and as a garage doctor. If I read about a hit and run in the news, my reaction would be utter loathing for the driver not only for driving dangerously but also for not handing themselves in.

Further questions to Ayelet and Sondra:

1. Rregarding the translation, did you cooperate at all before or during the translation process? How long did it take to translate? Ayelet, have you read your book in English and, if so, is it strange to read it in another language?

2. What research did you do for the novel, for example, was it possible to meet African refugees or migrants to talk about their experiences?

3. Are there any plans to adapt it for TV or film?

4. Ayelet, do you have any plans for future novels? I wish you all the best for your birth of your baby.

Hygellig Sun 13-Nov-16 19:46:53

Also I wonder if Eitan felt less guilty when he learned that Asum was a wife beater and drug mule?

lisalisa Sun 13-Nov-16 21:44:42

Ooh Yes please. I'm really looking for a different genre of reading material and this sounds right up my street !

CountTessa Mon 14-Nov-16 14:58:20

I am finding Sirkit a a fascinating character and would love to know more from her side. For such a central player, I'm wondering Ayelet if it was a conscious decision to marginalise her so much and depict her as the strong wild brave African woman, yet one who is so hidden in Israeli society?

Givemecoffeeplease Mon 14-Nov-16 15:07:17

Loving this so much. Are you medically trained to speak so fluently about drugs, operations, doctors' lives etc? And how has that impacted on the novel??

bogglebonce Mon 14-Nov-16 18:27:31

An interesting book from start to finish, not my normal type of 'read' a bit heavy at times but worthwhile in the end, thank you Mumsnet for my book.

todormirchev Mon 14-Nov-16 19:23:54

Thank you Mumsnet for the free copy of "Waking Lions".I enjoy reading the book a lot.
I want to ask the autor Ayelet Gundar-Goshen: If there is a film adaptation of the book in the future, which actor and actress would she like to see playing the lead characters from "Waking Lions?"

SallySwann Mon 14-Nov-16 20:34:13

Thank you Ayelet for a really good read. I had my doubts as to whether Dr Green did actually knock Sirkit's husband over or that he just thought he had, so I liked the elements of doubt. There are several issues raised in the book of course, but I found it interesting when the issue of free healthcare to all was raised in relation to Sirkit and Eitan's makeshift hospital. So I wonder whether Ayelet thinks that the British NHS system is something that Israel should have.

SallySwann Mon 14-Nov-16 20:37:07

I would like to ask Sondra if there are any arts of the translatuion that were particularly difficult to translate. For example, there may be certain sayings in Hebrew that do not particularly relate to English, so how would she overcome this. Also does Ayelet read enough English to be able to read the translation?

lalamcbride Mon 14-Nov-16 20:49:48

Hi Ayelet, You mention the treatment of migrant workers in your book.

How do you think recent events surrounding the flow of migrants into europe influenced this theme for readers ?

For example do you think the news items surrounding the treatment of migrants in europe has helped readers to be able to identify with the migrant characters in this book much more.

Finally as the book is based on a real events what is your hope for the future in relation to how society treats migrant workers.

yUMMYmUMMYb Mon 14-Nov-16 20:56:06

An outstanding book. This was such an addictive read, a genuine page - turner of a book. My question is how do you make a character who has made a split second decision like this so likeable? Was it your intention that the readers would empathise with him?

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 20:58:25

Hello everyone, happy to join the webchat from Tel Aviv. Thank you for inviting me to discuss "Waking Lions", and thanks for the questions so far – I'm looking forward to answering them.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Nov-16 20:59:29

Good evening, everyone...

Firstly thanks to everyone who has posted on the thread so far – it’s interesting to hear your thoughts on the novel and we hope you're able to join us this evening.

Someone asked further up the thread why we’d chosen Waking Lions as our book of the month. The truth is we knew little about the book and author when it landed on our desk but for some time we’ve been big admirers of Pushkin Press who publish brilliant literary novels from all over the world and we were interested in the idea of looking at a book that has been translated. As soon as we started reading we were gripped by this brilliant story, fascinated by its setting and we felt the book raised so many important and relevant questions.

We’re really delighted to welcome both Ayelet Gundar-Goshen and translator Sondra Silverstone tonight, who are both joining us from Israel. As they are two hours ahead of us, we’re particularly grateful for joining us so late in the evening - especially to Ayelet whose baby is due at the end of the month. A warm welcome to you both….

BearAusten Mon 14-Nov-16 21:00:11

I found this complex story fascinating, yet terribly moving and sad. It is thought provoking on so many levels. It is interesting to imagine how oneself would have reacted in Eitan’s situation with the hit and run. I don’t think I could have dealt with Eitan’s guilt. The fact that Assum is an abuser should not change how we view Eitan and his culpability. He is still guilty of hit and run. He was not acting in self defence.

What drove you to write this novel? Could you have written it without your studies in Clinical Psychology or are you more influenced by your work with the Israeli civil rights movement?

Have you met anyone in the medical profession who displayed the same repulsion and hatred for their patients as Eitan initially had for the Eriteans?

Do you worry about having your novels translated into other languages? Do you worry that they will lose part of their essence?

Could ‘leha’ir’ ever mean to light up instead of ‘wake’?

aristocat Mon 14-Nov-16 21:01:14

Hi all, I am here. Looking forward to getting involved smile

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:02:15

yUMMYmUMMYb

An outstanding book. This was such an addictive read, a genuine page - turner of a book. My question is how do you make a character who has made a split second decision like this so likeable? Was it your intention that the readers would empathise with him?

thank you so much yUMMYmUMMYb - happy to know you liked it! it was very important for me that the reader would feel for Eitan, rather than just judge him. it's easier to judge than to try and understand.

Hygellig Mon 14-Nov-16 21:04:32

SallySwann - my dad was born in Israel but has lived in the UK for most of his adult life. His siblings still live in Israel. My dad is constantly going on about how he envies the Israeli health care system and says it is far superior to the treatment he has had on the NHS! But it's not equivalent to the NHS in terms of being free at the point of use.

SondraSilverston Mon 14-Nov-16 21:05:48

Hello All. Lovely to join you this evening. It's not often that translators, usually invisible, can step into the spotlight and talk about their work.

MummysGotMakeup Mon 14-Nov-16 21:06:35

Hi Ayelet and Sondra, I really enjoyed the book. Not only was it an addictive storyline, there was lots in it to make you think. I particularly enjoyed the nods to routine everyday decisions and routines which affect your life so much yet you never think about. My question is about Sirkit; the first half of the book, I understood her to be gentle even though she was "blackmailing" Eitan yet in the second half, I found her a far harder, calculating character. How did you imagine her? Did she adapt to the circumstances that she found herself in or was she always cold?

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:06:43

BearAusten

I found this complex story fascinating, yet terribly moving and sad. It is thought provoking on so many levels. It is interesting to imagine how oneself would have reacted in Eitan’s situation with the hit and run. I don’t think I could have dealt with Eitan’s guilt. The fact that Assum is an abuser should not change how we view Eitan and his culpability. He is still guilty of hit and run. He was not acting in self defence.

What drove you to write this novel? Could you have written it without your studies in Clinical Psychology or are you more influenced by your work with the Israeli civil rights movement?

Have you met anyone in the medical profession who displayed the same repulsion and hatred for their patients as Eitan initially had for the Eriteans?

Do you worry about having your novels translated into other languages? Do you worry that they will lose part of their essence?

Could ‘leha’ir’ ever mean to light up instead of ‘wake’?

thanks for these great questions BearAusten. the novel is based on a true story - i met an Israeli guy who committed a hit-and-run accident while traveling in India. i was haunted by his story, especially because he didn't look like my concept of "a bad man". i started wondering - could it be that "a good guy" could panic and do a thing like that?

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:08:05

aristocat

A very interesting book which I enjoyed, so different to my usual thriller books.

My main concern was that Eitans behaviour after the accident was quite unbelievable. However this is central to the story. Who knows how we would react to a situation like this?

It was a challenging read for me and I also noticed the overuse of brackets, why?

Yes Aristocat – that was exactly my question when I set down to write: who knows how we'll react in a "hit and run" situation? We have different scenarios in our minds, but you can't tell until you're there…

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:12:46

MummysGotMakeup

Hi Ayelet and Sondra, I really enjoyed the book. Not only was it an addictive storyline, there was lots in it to make you think. I particularly enjoyed the nods to routine everyday decisions and routines which affect your life so much yet you never think about. My question is about Sirkit; the first half of the book, I understood her to be gentle even though she was "blackmailing" Eitan yet in the second half, I found her a far harder, calculating character. How did you imagine her? Did she adapt to the circumstances that she found herself in or was she always cold?

thanks MummysGotMakeup for giving me the opportunity to think about Sirkit - she was very dear to me while writing. i didn't want her to be just the "saint-refugee", or the "noble-victim" - i wanted her to be a real person, with dark sides as well as good sides. i believe that's what makes us human. it's a great question you're asking about her "true" character - is she just reacting to her life situation, how much choice does she have?

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:13:36

Belo

Thanks for my copy of the book mumsnet. I've started reading it and it has cooked me even in my current jetlagged state!

Is it too early to ask Ayelet a (perhaps ignorant) question? Or, perhaps somebody else knows the answer? Liat refers to herself as being in a minority group and coming from Or Akiva. I think of Israel as being a Jewish state (whether that is right or wrong is another matter). But, within the Jewish race in Israel are there different ethnic minorities some of whom suffer from discrimination? I like to think that as Jewish people have themselves been the subject of discrimination they would not discriminate against other members of their faith. Am I being naive?

Hello Bello – Yes, within the Jewish society there are different ethnicities (European Jews, Eastern Jews, Ethiopian Jews and so). I wish I could say that the discrimination we suffered throughout history immunes us in a way from being racist to one another. Sadly – that's not the case.
It reminds me of my work with youth – you would expect that a teenager who suffered bullying at school would be more empathic to other kids – but he might be the first to bully younger kids…

aristocat Mon 14-Nov-16 21:13:55

I am sure I read that you were backpacking somewhere and met an Israeli guy who had run over a local and didn’t stop and used this idea. Quite a story, and now such a great book! Thanks again.

BearAusten Mon 14-Nov-16 21:14:15

Congratulations on your pregnancy. It must be a very exciting time for you. Sorry, I am inclined to judge a fictional Eitan, but I hope, and suspect, I would be more understanding to someone I had encountered. It is easier to think in black and white terms when the individual is not standing before you.

SondraSilverston Mon 14-Nov-16 21:14:22

Hygellig

I enjoyed this book a lot.

I would like to ask Ayelet if she considered exploring the ethical and emotional dimensions of alternative scenarios. For example if Eitan hadn't left his wallet at the scene, it's unlikely that the police would have found that he was the hit and run driver, but having a death on his conscience might have had major repercussions on his life - or he might have gradually found himself thinking about it less and less.

I was also wondering if the novel has raised awareness of the plight of migrant workers and refugees in Israel.

To Sondra Silverston I would like to ask if there were any particular difficulties in translating the novel, for example turns of phrase that don't have an exact equivalent in English?

There are very often words or phrases without an exact equivalent. Sometimes we have to translate "the spirit" of the original language, if not the exact wording.

yUMMYmUMMYb Mon 14-Nov-16 21:18:05

Thanks for answering and joining us so late. Congratulations on your pregnancy. Are you currently writing anything new or can we expect something soon in print from you - would love to read something else you have written.

SallySwann Mon 14-Nov-16 21:18:43

I'd also like to ask Sondra if she has translated books from English into Hebrew and how she got involved in this kind of work in the first place. I assume that she must have lived in Israel at some point?

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:18:54

lalamcbride

Hi Ayelet, You mention the treatment of migrant workers in your book.

How do you think recent events surrounding the flow of migrants into europe influenced this theme for readers ?

For example do you think the news items surrounding the treatment of migrants in europe has helped readers to be able to identify with the migrant characters in this book much more.

Finally as the book is based on a real events what is your hope for the future in relation to how society treats migrant workers.

these are really important questions, lalamcbride. people read about refugees in the news every day, but somehow they remain the invisible people, those left behind. i hope literature can make a difference here, putting a name and a face to those people.

yUMMYmUMMYb Mon 14-Nov-16 21:20:18

Sondra - as you were translating were there parts of the story that you would have written differently?
A process question - do you read the whole book first to get a sense of the story and then go back and translate or do you translate on initial read? Such a fascinating job.

SallySwann Mon 14-Nov-16 21:20:25

I thought it was an interesting title and wondered if the title is the same in Israel.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Nov-16 21:23:38

Ayelet and Sondra; We would like to put our standard questions from Mumsnet HQ to you both:

Which childhood book most inspired you?

What was the last book you gave someone as a gift?

What was the best book you have recently read?

And finally - to Ayelet - can you describe the room where you wrote Waking Lions - and to Sondra - the room where you wrote the translation?

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:24:05

yUMMYmUMMYb

Thanks for answering and joining us so late. Congratulations on your pregnancy. Are you currently writing anything new or can we expect something soon in print from you - would love to read something else you have written.

thanks for keeping me awake - this is my last party before the birth smile
i'm working on my third novel, but it think it will take a while now - babies and novels don't always get along so well..

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:25:57

SallySwann

I thought it was an interesting title and wondered if the title is the same in Israel.

i'm glad you liked the title SallySwan, and yes - it was the same in Israel. in Hebrew: "Lehair Arayot". i liked the idea of a hidden predator within all of us, and what happens when this predator suddenly awakes...

MummysGotMakeup Mon 14-Nov-16 21:27:06

Thanks Ayelet, I wonder how much my perceptions of the characters will have changed on a second reading. Was this already a printed book in Israel that was translated afterwards for Pushkin or was it translated at the same time as its release in Israel? Has the book been reviewed/enjoyed differently in each country?

SondraSilverston Mon 14-Nov-16 21:27:06

yUMMYmUMMYb

Sondra - as you were translating were there parts of the story that you would have written differently?
A process question - do you read the whole book first to get a sense of the story and then go back and translate or do you translate on initial read? Such a fascinating job.

Well, yUMMYmUMMyb, the big secret in the translation world is that most translators do not read the entire book before beginning work. A chapter or 2 at most. There are a couple of reasons: first, it would take forever, because no translator can read with translating in his head, playing with choices and possibilities. Secondly, the suspense of not knowing how the book will develop keeps you on your toes, interested, alert. You're right, it is a fascinating job, but not an easy one.

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:28:32

todormirchev

Thank you Mumsnet for the free copy of "Waking Lions".I enjoy reading the book a lot.
I want to ask the autor Ayelet Gundar-Goshen: If there is a film adaptation of the book in the future, which actor and actress would she like to see playing the lead characters from "Waking Lions?"

Thanks todormirchev, glad you liked it. NBC network has bought the film rights – but it's really too early to know if it's actually going to happen. Anyway, I find it really hard to imagine the actor and actress. I wrote the book in Hebrew, and the filming would be in English, with American actors who don't speak my language…

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:31:15

Hygellig

Belo, I assumed that he would resume his normal life, but some ambiguity remained at the end. It was interesting to consider the moral repercussions of not handing himself in at the time of the hit and run; for one thing, it led to the death of Mona; on the other hand, he saved many lives both in his day job and as a garage doctor. If I read about a hit and run in the news, my reaction would be utter loathing for the driver not only for driving dangerously but also for not handing themselves in.

Further questions to Ayelet and Sondra:

1. Rregarding the translation, did you cooperate at all before or during the translation process? How long did it take to translate? Ayelet, have you read your book in English and, if so, is it strange to read it in another language?

2. What research did you do for the novel, for example, was it possible to meet African refugees or migrants to talk about their experiences?

3. Are there any plans to adapt it for TV or film?

4. Ayelet, do you have any plans for future novels? I wish you all the best for your birth of your baby.

Hygellig I'm afraid my English isn't good enough to read Literature. Last book I read in English was Harry Potter, in high school…

As for the research – I talked a with friends from "Doctor's for Human rights", who works with the refugee community, and I met refugees from Eritrea. But I believe the best way to know a character is not from a 'research' but from within, to try and put myself in the shoes of the other.

NBC bought the filming rights for waking lions - but it's still far away.

I do have a plan for a third novel, but my baby is due in the end of this month, so I'll have to be patient.

aristocat Mon 14-Nov-16 21:31:25

I am also impressed at being a translator, Sondra. Such an interesting job.

SondraSilverston Mon 14-Nov-16 21:34:53

RachelMumsnet

Ayelet and Sondra; We would like to put our standard questions from Mumsnet HQ to you both:

Which childhood book most inspired you?

What was the last book you gave someone as a gift?

What was the best book you have recently read?

And finally - to Ayelet - can you describe the room where you wrote Waking Lions - and to Sondra - the room where you wrote the translation?

Since I was always an avid read, I have to say that my entire neighborhood library inspired me and I can't think of one particular book. The last book I gave as a gift is Tana French's new novel, The Tresspasser. I love Tana French. The best book I read recently is Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. Absolutely brilliant.
I translate in my little workroom, just me, my computer and my bookshelves.

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:34:58

Givemecoffeeplease

Loving this so much. Are you medically trained to speak so fluently about drugs, operations, doctors' lives etc? And how has that impacted on the novel??

So glad you like it Givemecoffeeplease. I'm not medically trained – I have some doctor friends who I called and called and called again with endless questions.

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:38:47

MummysGotMakeup

Thanks Ayelet, I wonder how much my perceptions of the characters will have changed on a second reading. Was this already a printed book in Israel that was translated afterwards for Pushkin or was it translated at the same time as its release in Israel? Has the book been reviewed/enjoyed differently in each country?

the book was published in Hebrew and then translated to different languages. when i was doing a reading tour in Germany i felt their perception of the novel is different than in Israel: they're used to think of Israelis as victims, and the novel tells a more complex story.

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:41:40

CountTessa

I am finding Sirkit a a fascinating character and would love to know more from her side. For such a central player, I'm wondering Ayelet if it was a conscious decision to marginalise her so much and depict her as the strong wild brave African woman, yet one who is so hidden in Israeli society?

Exactly Counttessa – I wanted to find a graphic depiction of Sirkit's "otherness". She is marginalized in the text just as she is in the Israeli society

todormirchev Mon 14-Nov-16 21:42:46

Ayelet, thank you very much for the answer. Very glad that we will have the chance to see this facinating story on screen. Looking forward for another great and captivating story from you.

Hygellig Mon 14-Nov-16 21:43:24

Sondra, do you translate technical material as well, or just literature?
I am grateful that translators open up worlds to us that we would otherwise not be able to access.

I wonder if the backpacker who inspired the story has heard about the novel...

SondraSilverston Mon 14-Nov-16 21:43:47

SallySwann

I'd also like to ask Sondra if she has translated books from English into Hebrew and how she got involved in this kind of work in the first place. I assume that she must have lived in Israel at some point?

I've been living in Israel since 1970, originally from New York. When I arrived here, I knew I wanted to be a translator, even though I didn't know a word of Hebrew at the time. But where there's a will... I studied hard, did a 2-year translating course, and here I am. Translating gets me deep into the books I'm working on, and often into the head of the writer. With Ayelet, I really felt that my translations were writing themselves, that's how connected I felt to her writing. By the way, congratulations, Ayelet, on the upcoming baby.

BearAusten Mon 14-Nov-16 21:46:28

Did you use anybody else, other 'doctor friends', in order to discuss, bounce ideas about?

Do you currently see yourself more as a novelist than a psychologist? Or are both still important, yet different, parts of you?

SondraSilverston Mon 14-Nov-16 21:47:32

Hygellig

Sondra, do you translate technical material as well, or just literature?
I am grateful that translators open up worlds to us that we would otherwise not be able to access.

I wonder if the backpacker who inspired the story has heard about the novel...

Hygellig - When I first started out, I translated everything. But I felt that if I had to translate one more document on washing machine specifications or something like it, I would go completely mad. Getting into literary translation is difficult, but there was nothing else I wanted to do.

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:48:33

SondraSilverston

RachelMumsnet

Ayelet and Sondra; We would like to put our standard questions from Mumsnet HQ to you both:

Which childhood book most inspired you?

What was the last book you gave someone as a gift?

What was the best book you have recently read?

And finally - to Ayelet - can you describe the room where you wrote Waking Lions - and to Sondra - the room where you wrote the translation?

Since I was always an avid read, I have to say that my entire neighborhood library inspired me and I can't think of one particular book. The last book I gave as a gift is Tana French's new novel, The Tresspasser. I love Tana French. The best book I read recently is Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. Absolutely brilliant.
I translate in my little workroom, just me, my computer and my bookshelves.

one of the childhood book that inspired me the most was "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" - i spent hours in my Wardrobe trying to get to another country.

i bought "my brilliant friend" to my dad when he went into surgery - it helped him recover.

the best book i've recently read is "One horse enters a bar", by David Grossman

i wrote "waking lion"s in my living room in Tel Aviv. a month after the publication my first child was born, and the writing-room became the baby's room.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Nov-16 21:50:44

There's a couple of questions earlier up the thread that were missed and I wanted to put to you before our time is up: For Ayelet, BearAustin asked:

Do you worry about having your novels translated into other languages? Do you worry that they will lose part of their essence?‬

and Hygellig asked:

I would like to ask Ayelet if she considered exploring the ethical and emotional dimensions of alternative scenarios? For example if Eitan hadn't left his wallet at the scene, it's unlikely that the police would have found that he was the hit and run driver, but having a death on his conscience might have had major repercussions on his life - or he might have gradually found himself thinking about it less and less.‬

‪I was also wondering if the novel has raised awareness of the plight of migrant workers and refugees in Israel?‬

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:52:01

BearAusten

Did you use anybody else, other 'doctor friends', in order to discuss, bounce ideas about?

Do you currently see yourself more as a novelist than a psychologist? Or are both still important, yet different, parts of you?

i talked to my partner, he's the one that told me that Sirkit has to black-mail Eitan, and not to be a passive character.

i still see myself as both a writer and a psychologist. in both cases, it's about asking questions and not taking anything for granted.

yUMMYmUMMYb Mon 14-Nov-16 21:53:26

Fascinating insight into translating - something I had genuinely not thought about. Loved the book and look forward to another one soon. Thanks and good luck with baby smile

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Nov-16 21:53:32

And to Sondra - another question from Hygellig:

Regarding the translation, did you cooperate at all before or during the translation process? How long did it take to translate?

Hygellig Mon 14-Nov-16 21:55:11

I also wanted to ask if you think Liat believed that Eitan was just driving around and wanted to help the Eritreans. Do you think she would notice the large amount of money missing from their bank account and be angry about it?

If you don't have time to answer I would just like to say thank you both very much for joining the webchat at this late hour, and thank you for a very thought-provoking but also enjoyable read.

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:56:29

RachelMumsnet

There's a couple of questions earlier up the thread that were missed and I wanted to put to you before our time is up: For Ayelet, BearAustin asked:

Do you worry about having your novels translated into other languages? Do you worry that they will lose part of their essence?‬

and Hygellig asked:

I would like to ask Ayelet if she considered exploring the ethical and emotional dimensions of alternative scenarios? For example if Eitan hadn't left his wallet at the scene, it's unlikely that the police would have found that he was the hit and run driver, but having a death on his conscience might have had major repercussions on his life - or he might have gradually found himself thinking about it less and less.‬

‪I was also wondering if the novel has raised awareness of the plight of migrant workers and refugees in Israel?‬

*
thanks for bringing those questions again - and sorry for being so slow! i wish i could say it's the late hour, but actually i'm not used to typing - i write with a pen...
*
yes, BearAustin, i always wonder about the translations. Waking Lions is translated to 11 languages, none of them i can read, and i just have to learn and trust the words to go thier own way.

*
That's a good question Hygellig, and it followed me while writing – if Sirkit hadn't appear on Eitan's doorway – would he be able to simply go on with his life? How long would it be before the memory of the accident fades away? I still wonder.

As for your second question: the refugees in Israel are the invisible people of our society – I tried to change that in the novel, but it takes more than one novel to change society…

SondraSilverston Mon 14-Nov-16 21:57:58

RachelMumsnet

And to Sondra - another question from Hygellig:

Regarding the translation, did you cooperate at all before or during the translation process? How long did it take to translate?

The translation took about 4 months. Ayelet saw the first few chapters, approved and trusted me to continue on my own. When I had specific questions, I consulted with her.

AyeletGundarGoshen Mon 14-Nov-16 21:59:52

Good night everyone. It was lovely talking to you, and to re-think issues in the novel. your questions will go on with me, to my next novel.
Best wishes from Tel Aviv, Ayelet

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »