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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.

minsmum Wed 18-Jan-17 23:06:18

Just to update we read this for our book club at my suggestion and much to my surprise it was universally liked. Not everyone loved it, but they all liked it, for many different reasons. Some for making them think about how they would act, others for what they felt was an insight into a different culture. The thing that the book had all of us dwelling on was how hard it must be to be an immigrant. Thank you once again

FoxInABox Mon 14-Nov-16 22:37:25

I'm way behind, sorry!

FoxInABox Mon 14-Nov-16 22:34:29

I loved this, really unique. I would love to know what inspires you?

impostersyndrome Mon 14-Nov-16 22:12:43

Great webchat. All credit to Mumsnet for including the translator, so often forgotten when crediting a book in translation.

MummysGotMakeup Mon 14-Nov-16 22:03:35

Many thanks for answering our questions and for giving us an insight into your thoughts Ayelet and Sondra. Best wishes to you both for the future and let us know the baby news at the end of the month!

SondraSilverston Mon 14-Nov-16 22:02:41

Good night all. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk with you.
Sondra

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Nov-16 22:02:29

That brings us to the end of the hour and it’s really time we allow Ayelet and Sondra get to bed!

We’re so grateful to you both for joining us this evening and answering questions about this wonderful book and your work. Sondra, it;s been fascinating to hear about your work and agree that translators deserve much more recognition! Good luck to you both with your future projects and Ayelet – wishing you all the best wishes for the birth - such an exciting time!

Many thanks to all those who joined us tonight. This is the last book of the month webchat for 2016 but do keep your eyes peeled for news of our first book of the month for Jan 2017. Night all x

aristocat Mon 14-Nov-16 22:01:59

What a wonderful insight into the work you both do, thank you. Wishing you all the best with your future work smile

BearAusten Mon 14-Nov-16 22:01:21

Thank you for an excellent webchat.

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

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 21:56:29

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…

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.

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?

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

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.

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 21:48:33

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.

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.

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 21:43:47

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.

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...

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.

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

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.

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