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A poet and literature scholar, Dana Amir is also a distinguished clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, and heads the interdisciplinary doctoral program in Psychoanalysis at Haifa University in Israel. Amir is the author of six poetry books, two prose memoirs, and four non-fiction books exploring various aspects of the practice of psychoanalysis. Her poems have been published in many journals and collections in Hebrew, as well as in French and in Spanish.
Amir has been awarded numerous accolades across her career, including the Adler National Poetry Prize (1993) and the Nathan Alterman Poetry Prize (2013). Awards for her academic work include the Bahat Prize (2006), the Frances Tustin Memorial Prize (2011), the IPA Sacerdoti Prize (2013), the IFPE Distinguished Psychoanalytic Educators Award (2017), and the IPA Hayman Prize for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide (2017).
Translation rights: World
Audio visual rights: World
Translation: Complete English translation by Gabi Levin
In this poetic and powerful memoir, Dana Amir casts a searching gaze on what it is that makes people a family, and on what makes humans adults. On adopting a child, what is the defining moment that turns a person into a parent? How does one extract the emotional skein of parenthood from the legal fabric of adoption? How does the new parent find themselves within the child–and does it matter?
Based on personal experience, Amir’s honest and poignant text does not propose answers to these questions. Rather, by voicing the unsaid, she sets out to create a dialogue between lived experience and the ineffable nature of the human soul.
The focus shifts in the second and third parts of the memoir, turning the gaze from the relationship between parent and adopted child to the broader family dynamic: four siblings that are trapped in their childhood home. As time passes, they grow, mature, become parents themselves. But the memories have preserved them much the same. Everyone experiences a lot across one’s life; how then can one identify those defining moments?
Dana Amir has been praised for her bold and evocative writing, reaching across genres. Her last book, Kaddish on Darkness and Light was described as "unique and extraordinary poetic writing, in its style, technique and aesthetic charge."
A portentous introduction that identifies precisely what is missing in the experience of motherhood… [The novella] is proof of the ability to return safely to the worlds of childhood, adolescence and early motherhood, and to tell their stories.
Recommended as one of the “Ten Books to Read During the Holidays” by Israel Hayom (2021)
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