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Born in Haifa in 1956, Nizan Weisman studied philosophy and history of theater at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before graduating (with distinction) in Economics and Financial Accounting. Weisman has worked as an accountant, business consultant, and lecturer in Israel and abroad for many years. In parallel, Weisman has nurtured a burgeoning career as a writer, publishing short stories in literary periodicals in Israel.
Rosemary Woods, his debut collection of stories, won the Haifa Foundation Award (2006) and was a finalist for the Haaretz First Book Prize of 2007. His second collection of stories, An Israeli Breakfast, received warm critical praise. A Place (2021), his most recent and acclaimed novel, was longlisted for Israel’s prestigious Sapir Prize.
Weisman lives in the city of his birth with his family.
Title: A Place
Translation rights: World
Audio visual rights: World. Proposal and synopsis for TV Series available
Translation: Partial English translation by Gilah Kahn. Detailed synopsis in English available
The book was longlisted for the Sapir Prize 2021
July 1942, Amsterdam under German occupation. Heinrich Mendelson writes in his diary: “I stuffed a few things in a bag and went into hiding; in a moment, I turned from Heinrich Mendelson into an onderduiker, a faceless diver. My hideaway is a cubicle in Uncle Theo’s office. On entering, I was shocked by the gloom, the claustrophobia. The suffocation. Marti told me what was allowed and what was not. Then we fought, and then we made up; the curfew was about to begin, and Marti had to go.”
Across many long months, Heinrich documents running out of time, translating Dante’s Inferno and slowly losing his grip on reality and life. Marti de Jong, his Dutch lover, brings him food, light, hope. Not far away, Ziggy Feferman, a refugee their age from Germany, slips from one hiding place to another, fleeing from his pursuers and fighting for his freedom.
Early Spring 1943. Heinrich is imprisoned, and Marti embarks on a desperate mission to save him from the dreadful fate that awaits him. Ziggy, detained in the “Jewish Theater,” the deportation camp set up by the Nazis in the heart of Amsterdam, does everything he can to escape again. Everything, including putting his life on the line.
A Place is a sweeping, breathtaking novel of the highest quality. It is a novel about powerful, uncompromising love, about a city that has been turned into an inferno on earth, and about three young people, their fates linked to each other’s unknowingly, and the weekend that will change their lives forever.
That it is a notable “Holocaust novel” aside, Nizan Weisman’s A Place is also a gothic text, one that evokes serious thought about the future of the culture of writing… a novel that fills the reader with the quiet modest joy that comes from an encounter with well-crafted prose…
Arik Glasner, Critic
“The diary Heinrich keeps whilst in hiding may remind the reader something of The Diary of Anne Frank. This is not a coincidence. This diary is written in secret, during the Nazi occupation…but Heinrich’s diary is just one aspect of a rich and complex plot… reaching out in different directions, preserving its sense of tension right up to the end… an epic and an expansive novel… an important book.”
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