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Noga Albalach is an Israeli author and editor living in Tel Aviv. In 2005 she left a successful career as an equity analyst to focus on literature. After working as an editor for several years, she is now the CEO and co-editor of Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House.
Albalach has written novels, novellas, short stories, and children’s books. She has been awarded the Ministry of Culture Prize for Debut Fiction (2011), the Prime Minister's Prize (2016), and the Brenner Prize for her memoir The Old Man (2018).
Title: The Old Man
Publisher: Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Translation rights: World (excluding French and Danish)
Audio visual rights: World
Translation: Complete English translation by Daniella Zamir
Rights sold to France (Editions Do, Bordeaux), Denmark (Forlaget Vandkunsten, Copenhagen)
In her lucid and lyrical prose, Noga Albalach creates a vivid portrait of her father, examining the textures of their relationship, their family, and the changing society around them. With one hundred and thirteen fragments of memory and routine, tragicomic moments, she describes a brave but modest man, a noble and optimistic person. His life and death help her shed light on her own story and lead her to profound insights.
Translated into French and Danish and published to rave reviews, this is the story of an adult daughter caring for her father in the last months of his life. She witnesses his mind grow faint and tries to conserve his personality, which seems to be fading away. The more he forgets, the more she remembers; the further he retreats into his world, the more profoundly she feels their new intimacy; the weaker his grasp of life becomes, the more vivid is its meaning to her.
This book is, to my mind, a masterpiece.
It is difficult for me to express in words how much generosity and beauty and moral honesty there is in this book.
A beautiful and minimalist distillation of the existential absurdity of human life, which chokes the throat as it is read.
Yoana Gonen, Haaretz
This book made me cry.
Eric Vuillard, winner of the 2018 Prix Goncourt
It is made of one hundred and thirteen brief or very brief texts (only one exceeds a page) which are like arrows: each must touch, each aims at the heart.
Mathieu Lindon, Liberation Livre
Albalach draws a string of moving snapshots of a life which are anonymous and at the same time unique.
I came away simply overwhelmed by the love it contains. Illness and death are difficult subjects that scratch at our lives, and literature is also there to talk about them. Noga Albalach does so in a beautiful way . . . A book that touched my heart, revealing a sensitive and delicate author with a sense of humor despite the seriousness of the subject.
Les miscellanées d'Usva Blog
If this reviewer has read something harder, something more boiled over about dementia and grief and death, he can no longer remember it. A lot has been written and filmed, Still Alice, The Father and more, but in none of these can such intense and concentrated descriptions be found, as in the case of the Israeli author Noga Albalach… Writing about a person who disappears is an art, and the Israeli Noga Albalach masters it better than most.
Kristian Jensen, Demensen
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