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Born in 1964 in Kibbutz Ein HaMifratz, Hagai Dagan is an Israeli writer and scholar. Educated in Israel and Germany, he received a PhD in Jewish Thought and Philosophy from Tel-Aviv University. He is currently head of the Israeli Culture department at Sapir College, Israel.
Dagan has published seven novels, four non-fiction books, and a volume of poetry. His body of work is anchored by themes from Jewish history, myth, fantasy and demonology, and their links to contemporary Israeli life and identity. Dagan was awarded the Levi Eshkol Literary Award in 2007 and the Geffen Prize for Best Fantasy Book in 2013
Title: Call of the North: Karelia's Journey
Publisher: Petel Publishers
Translation rights: World
Audio visual rights: World
Karelia, a Husky living in a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip in southern Israel, doesn’t have an easy life: it’s too warm, she is chained in a small yard, and her owner is mean to her. She dreams about a faraway northern homeland, a mythical place of which she heard as a puppy, before she was separated from her mother. She also has helpful confidants: a dog with a Jewish soul and a quixotic child who goes by the name of Wilfred Ivanhoe. With their help she escapes her captivity and embarks on an adventurous journey to the Norse country of her dreams.
Along her adventures, Karelia keeps running into trouble, but she also finds true friends—a Finnish girl who lives “under the map,” an orphaned Syrian refugee, smugglers from Hungary, and various animals and magical creatures: donkeys, geese and wolves, and even northern goddesses and bears who float in the sky. We might say that throughout the story, our seemingly familiar world is transformed into a fantastical world, but Karelia, on her quest north, would say that it has been there all along.
What kind of book is this? Human or canine? A children’s book, or a crossover? The answer is both, and more. This adventure book leaves no other choice—whoever reads it must join Karelia and run with her all the way beyond the horizon, to the map under all maps.
Hagai Dagan: Fiction
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