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A poet, writer, and part-time musician, Shimon Adaf was born in Sderot in 1972 to Jewish parents of Moroccan heritage. Adaf has published four collections of poetry, twelve novels, and a book of essays; his literary plaudits include the Ministry of Education Award for debut book, the Yehuda Amichai Prize for Poetry, the Sapir Prize, and the Newman Award for Hebrew Literature. Aside from being shortlisted for the Sapir Prize, Adaf's novel Take up and Read (2017) was selected by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corp as the outstanding novel of the year.
The Lost Detective trilogy highlights Adaf's musical leanings, featuring lyrics that he penned for Dalia Shusan, the Sderot-born singer-songwriter he created for the fiction. In 2019, Adaf and composer Haim Rachmani, collaborating under the moniker ReQamot, recorded the album An Entire Mythology Beneath the Fingernails—a companion piece to the Lost Detective trilogy, featuring “covers” of Shusan’s songs recorded with leading Israeli rock musicians.
The Lost Detective Trilogy
SHIMON ADAF’S Lost Detective Trilogy embodies many worlds, attitudes, genres, and voices. Like Walt Whitman and Bob Dylan, it contains multitudes. Philosophy, literary theory, immunology, temporal rifts, and religious texts mingle together in this trilogy to produce a work that attempts to mimic what Adaf believes is a deep truth: that people are not closed systems but nodes in a network of relationships…
…the tragedy of the Holocaust, with its barbarism and depravity, came over to Israel with the refugees of eastern Europe. It hangs over their descendants, seeping into the life of every Israeli and keeping the many social and political hostilities at a constant simmer. And yet, as Adaf has declared in the form of the Lost Detective Trilogy, we are all connected across time and space. Other realities might and likely do exist, technology will only force us to understand ourselves more, and the true detective is one who follows an investigation wherever the clues may lead.
World Literature Today
Shimon Adaf’s voice is one of the most interesting and original in contemporary Israeli literature. Both as a poet and as a novelist he excels in rich, fascinating imagination, in lyrical qualities, and in [presenting] a unique concept of reality. I consider Adaf an excellent poet and writer.
Shimon Adaf is my literary hero, a fearless explorer with the endless curiosity of a child and the skill of an Old Master, combined to unleash strange and wonderful masterpieces on the world. In his Lost Detective Trilogy, what begins as conventional mystery becomes by degrees a brilliant deconstruction not just of genre but of our own search for meaning. Both profound and compulsively readable, these books demand to be devoured.
Lavie Tidhar, author of By Force Alone
The superlatives have all been deployed already to describe the fiction writer and poet Shimon Adaf […] once again he proves himself worthy of them. It is hard not be impressed by his magnificent command of the many layers of the Hebrew language, and by his remarkable ability to deconstruct and then reassemble language, creating along the way an alchemical, ingenious, exciting reality in words.
It’s hard to say when last, if ever, we experienced Hebrew prose that welds beauty and speech; or any other contemporary Israeli writer confronting us with questions of exile, epiphany, and history.
Novel: One Mile and Two Days Before Sunset
Novel: A Detective’s Complaint
Novel: Take Up and Read
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