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Ilana Rudashevski

Ilana Rudashevski is an Israeli author, architect, and urban planner. Taska, her debut novel, was a critical and commercial success in Israel, receiving glowing praise in the local media and was shortlisted for the 2024 Sapir prize for a debut novel. Her short stories have been published in various Hebrew literary magazines, winning a number of literary honors, including first place in Haaretz’s prestigious short story contest. She is a fellow at HaPardes Literary Incubator, a program for fiction writers organized by the National Library of Israel.

Rudashevski lives in Jerusalem with her family.

 

Title: Taska

Novel

Publisher: Shtaim

Year: 2022

255 pp.

 

Translation rights: World

Audio visual rights: World

Translation: Partial English

Taska is an untranslatable Russian word that captures a sense of inexplicable melancholy, longing, and nostalgia. This elusive feeling is at the heart of Ilana Rudashevski’s debut novel—an instant bestseller that received enthusiastic responses from readers and critics alike. Following an immigrant family from the Soviet Union to Israel, Taska relates a migration story that is witty, poignant, and entirely new.

 

In the early 1970s, Max and Sophie leave behind their beautiful home and loved ones and immigrate to Israel with their two daughters. They know that they may never see their family and friends again, but are nevertheless driven by a persistent urge—part ideology, part survival instinct. Once in Israel, they settle in a utopian tiny community on the Egyptian border—only to be uprooted again when the Sinai Peninsula reverts to Egyptian control.

 

Present-day Israel. Sophie is dead; her elder daughter Elka, an urban planner in Jerusalem, is caught up in a bribery scandal. Even though she has lived in Israel since her childhood, the affair confronts her with cultural rifts that have been running beneath the surface all the while. At once earnest and ironic, nostalgic and disillusioned, Elka traces her family’s story—and the sense of indistinct longing that is inseparable from immigrant life.

Critical Praise

[Ilana] creates a unique world, in its events as well as in its language, moving between an architectural language and the unique Hebrew of immigrants from the former Soviet Union... The book looks with fresh and witty eyes at the beauty and pain of this place, about immigration, the feelings of mission and pioneering, the tireless ideology, and the weight of history in it".

Haaretz

Written with charismatic skill uncommon in debuts, diving into [Taska] is emotionally and conceptually rewarding.

Omri Herzog, Haaretz

 

Composed with confidence, with a humor typical of modern Russian literature, [Taska] moves elegantly between times and continents.

Shiri Lev-Ari, Calcalist

 

Rudashevski moves between life and death, past and present, childhood and old age, hallucination and hard-core reality (a misconduct affair), with the skill and grace of a sophisticated author.

Yaron Fried, Maariv

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