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Born in 1984 in Tel Aviv, Jonathan Fine is a writer and literary translator. Honorably Discharged, his first book, won the Israel Ministry of Culture's Award for a debut work of fiction, and the Harry Harshun Award for Fiction. His recent novella, The Bosman, was selected for translation by the Vermont College of Fine Arts Translation Program. Jonathan's work in English has been published in Joyland Magazine, The Tel Aviv Review of Books, and The Short Story Project. He has translated into Hebrew from the Italian works by Primo Levi, Natalia Ginzburg, Italo Svevo and others
Title: The Bosman
Translation rights: World
Audio visual rights: World
Translation: Complete English translation by Randi Hanegbi edited by Dalia Rosenfeld
The narrator of this short and charged novel will soon be thirty. A decade-long tradition playing football with his high school friends is all he has going for him, though. Meeting his rent on time is a perpetual battle; his master's degree in literature has turned into an existential struggle, pitting him against his old-fashioned professor and a malevolent department secretary.
But everything changes when a new player joins the football team, a Bosman–the nickname the team gives to the random replacements pulled into the ranks whenever they are a player short. The new Bosman quickly becomes everyone's favourite, but for no discernible reason takes an immediate dislike to our narrator. For his part, the narrator fixates on pulling the Bosman down from his pedestal. The benign camaraderie of weekend football morphs into a clash of two egos, the aggression mirroring the narrator's struggle for money, status and dignity in an unyielding world.
The feud escalates, the one fighting for his place in the team, the other for his place in the world. There can only one winner, and many lessons to learn before this end–some not pleasant at all.
The Bosman is a particularly inventive piece of writing, containing both humor and pathos, as well and an unusual and charming story. Written in a memorable voice, it left me wanting more.
Mann Booker International Prize winner Jessica Cohen
The novella flows, intelligent and sharp. It is well-written. Fine is a skilled author, with a measure of emotional depth and rhetorical brilliance in his writing.
In his short book, Jonathan Fine acutely charts the course of bourgeois adolescence, by paying homage to the classics.
A rare, hope-inspiring literary work, which depicts Israeli masculinity in a new and intriguing way.
The Bosman demonstrates Mr. Fine’s ability to span a gripping plot out of seemingly mundane settings, combining sharp social observation with a nuanced character portrayal.
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