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Saleit Shahaf Poleg
Saleit Shahaf Poleg is a writer, editor, and university lecturer. Born in 1977, she spent her childhood in Beer-Sheva, and her adolescence on a Kibbutz and in a Moshav (collective agricultural settlement) in the Jezreel Valley in Northern Israel. Shahaf Poleg has an MA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Bar-Ilan University, and has published short stories in leading Israel and international literary periodicals, in both Hebrew and English. In the summer of 2017, the Harrison NY Jewish Community Center’s Short Story Club invited her to host a master class discussing her short stories.
Till it Rains Again, Poleg’s debut novel, is an Israeli bestseller, topping the charts for weeks and is highly praised by critics and public.
Title: Till it Rains Again
Publisher: Two Sfarim Publishing house
Translation rights: World
Audio visual rights: World
Translation: Partial English
German rights sold (Aufbau)
Italian rights sold (Neri Pozza)
Winner of the Ministery of Culture award for debut book 2021
Yaeli Shteinman returns to the village that she had promised never to set foot in again. She is carrying her unborn child, its future already overshadowed by uncertainty and fear. Gali, her sister, has returned from Canada. She is to be wed, she thinks, under the grapefruit tree in the backyard of the family home; but the groom is not showing up.
It has been twelve years since it last rained, twelve years since the family secret was exposed. Now, the past is threatening to haunt them once again.
In a valley defined by strife, in one of the first of Israel’s revered collective agricultural settlements, three generations of Yael’s family must face the consequences of the secret locked up in their attic for decades—and other secrets, even more terrifying, passed like a heirloom from generation to generation. As the family drama unfolds, the villagers struggle with the rain that refuses to fall. Farmers clash over the little water left, even as their crops are superseded, slowly but surely, by soulless real estate.
In Till it Rains Again, Saleit Shahaf Poleg details with humor and irony, but also with compassion, a portrait of what remains of the great Zionist settlement dream; a story played out by some of the most colorful and unforgotten characters of contemporary Israeli literature.
A mature and sophisticated novel ... superbly crafted in terms of plot and structure, its gaze and its voices, its universe and its characters ... an impressive debut by a writer who enters the arena of Hebrew fiction with a confidence, offering the readers a multidimensional artistic and emotional experience.
Excellently constructed from beginning to end ... Shahaf Poleg succeeds in creating a multi-generational mythology of authentic Israelis, rooted and replete with Zionist ideals, slowly being abandoned through a despairing process that one cannot tear one’s gaze away from… Shahaf Poleg’s [book] has a rich and sophisticated plot full of revelations ... a book with rhythm, fun to read.
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