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November Book of the Month: Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

We knew very little about Waking Lions when a copy arrived in the office this summer but within a week we were all gripped. Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's second novel is a suspenseful story about secrets, shame, immigration, corruption, guilt and prejudice.
The story: Dr Eitan Green is an accomplished Israeli neurosurgeon whose work forces him and his family to move from Telaviv to the remote city of Beersheba and a hospital in the parched Negev desert. Exhausted and angry after working a late-night shift, he impulsively takes a night-time drive into the desert in his SUV. It's a journey that will change the course of his and his family's life.
The author propels us into the arid dust of southern Israel's desert, and presents us with dilemmas that cut to the heart of human existence. The novel has been translated from Hebrew which makes it our first ever Book of the Month in translation. To mark this, both Ayelet Gundar-Goshen and the book's translator, Sondra Silverston, will be joining us on 14 November, to discuss the book and answer your questions. 

A note from the author

Hello Mumsnetters,

I'm delighted to be Mumsnet Book of the Month – especially because the end of this month is the due-date for my second child! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Waking Lions, and to answering your questions.

Waking Lions is based on a true story I heard from a backpacker in India, who committed a hit and run and fled the scene. What haunted me about this story was that this backpacker didn't look like "a bad man" – could it be that anyone is capable of leaving someone on the side of the road, in a split-second decision? Does the fact that the victim wasn't a white man effect the decision to leave him there? These were the questions that made me start writing the novel – and I'm curious to read the questions you have after reading it.

See you soon,


What the critics said

"Gundar-Goshen's gripping second novel twists and turns like a thriller, and it is particularly impressive in its moral ambiguities." - The Sunday Times

"If there were a literary prize for nail-biting first lines, Israeli writer Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's second novel, Waking Lions, would win... Brave and startling." - Financial Times

"It's not every day a writer like this comes our way." - Guardian

About the author

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen was born in Israel in 1982 and holds an MA in Clinical Psychology from Tel Aviv University. Her film scripts have won prizes at international festivals, including the Berlin Today Award and the New York City Short Film Festival Award. Waking Lions was a bestseller in Germany and is being translated into five languages.

Book giveaway

It's the perfect time of year to cosy up with a fast-paced literary thriller. Pushkin Press has kindly offered free copies to 50 lucky winners - to apply, all you need to do is fill in the form below. 

If you're one of the lucky winners, please do join in the discussion about the book throughout the month and join in our webchat live, if you can. 

This giveaway closes on Friday 14 October. If you're not lucky enough to win a book, you can always buy a paperback and join in too!

Webchat with Ayelet Gundar-Goshen

We're delighted to have the opportunity to talk to Ayelet and her translator Sondra Silverston when they join us to answer your questions and chat about Waking Lions on Monday 14 November. 

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Last updated: about 2 years ago