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Asaf Schurr

Asaf Schurr is an Israeli author, translator, and editor. In 2009 he received the prestigious Bernstein Award for his novel Amram as well as the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Literary Works, and was a finalist for the Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in 2013. He has written book reviews for various Israeli newspapers and cultural supplements.


Schurr studied theater and philosophy at the Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University and trained in behavioral therapy for dogs. He also practices and teaches Wu Wei Gung Fu. He lives with his wife close to Tel Aviv. 


The Bear is his seventh book.

Title: The Bear


Publisher: Hakibbutz Hameuchad

Year: 2023

149  pp.


Translation rights: World

Audio visual rights: World

An English translation by author Todd Lowe Hazak. 

Scurr’s earlier novel Motti was published in translation by Actes Sud (French), Berlin Verlag (German), Voland (Italian), Dalkey Archives (English).

It was not a bad world to live in. Even after the destruction, life still persisted in all its beauty.


At the end of a near-extinction event, Israel is full of wreckage. The hunger and danger are not yet over, but some people still collect moments of joy and kindness among the deserted grocery stores and orphaned post offices. There are packs of dogs and children playing together in the streets. A large bear prances on the sand and the asphalt. Cats wander aimlessly. New and fragile relationships develop cautiously, as if from a distance, between the survivors living among the ruins.


The Bear is a story about life in post-apocalyptic Israel. In lively and agile prose, Asaf Schurr moves among characters and events and depicts a vivid world of horror and compassion, cruelty and camaraderie.



Critical Praise


Asaf Schurr is one of the greatest Hebrew writers of our times… this isn’t just another book about what will happen in Israel after the apocalypse. It’s a book about scattered reflections, about a present that we all already know, from the anxiety and from the spirit.

Navit Barel, Yediot Ahronoth


The insistence of finding the beauty within the catastrophe is probably what distinguishes The Bear from most of the dystopias that keep multiplying on the bookshelves.

Maya Becker, Haaretz


With The Bear, Asaf Schurr reinvents the dystopian genre. It’s a beautiful and lucid novel whose heroes find compassion and mercy even after the apocalypse… In a brilliant turn, Schurr uses the apocalypse as dark background for a beautiful, intimate novel, whose characters wander between the abandoned houses, still living their small lives, building relationships of love and kinship and experiencing moments of compassion and even boredom. In a place of horror and rebuke, The Bear is enveloped in sorrow and observation, and its heroes are much more than mere survivors. In clear and minimalist language, he reminds us that after the apocalypse there is beauty and empathy, that the world was here for a long time before us and will be here for a long time after us, and that there is consolation in this fact… Schurr is without doubt one of the best Israeli writers working today.

Yoana Gonen, Haaretz

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