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Zohar Elmakias

Zohar Elmakias was born in 1987 in Ramle, Israel. A writer, outstanding scholar, translator, essayist and literary critic, Zohar Elmakias divides her time between Jaffa and New York, where she is completing a doctorate in socio-cultural anthropology at Columbia University. Her research explores spatial transformations, geographies of violence, and the political imaginary in Israel/Palestine across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Across the years she has won numerous grants and awards, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Harry Hershon Literary Prize, and a Dissertation Fieldwork Grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation. 


She has written reviews, essays and articles for publications stretching across the Hebrew media spectrum; she directed "Duties of the Heart", a visual portrait of a young Mizrahi poet, which was subsequently screened on Israeli television and at several festivals.


Elmakias has translated works by Ta-Nehisi Coates, James Baldwin and Jamaica Kincaid into Hebrew. Her choices align with the central axis running through her work: to reveal the voice of Black and Mizrahi art to Israel. Terminal, her first book, was hailed as "the progenitor of a new style in the [Israeli] literary canon."

Title: Terminal


Publisher: Hakibbutz Hameuchad

Year: 2020

83 pp.


Translation rights: World

Audio visual rights: World

The airport. A living, breathing portal to other worlds and other places, urging those who pass through it into some form of change, physical and emotional. “The soul goes through another transformation, taking off shoes and belt and jacket, in return for a pass into another world. The soul is flying, along paths predetermined from the start; then it experiences an end, another end, toward the next stage and being reborn.”


But the terminal is just a part of the whole. Time, bodies, languages, places: all are intertwined in the terminal that marks the beginning of a young woman’s life journey. The present, with its hopes and disappointments, is under scrutiny, along with a still-vivid family past of migration and pain. Together, the past and the present chart out possibilities for the future.


The future is embodied already: in construction sites, on buses, at the beach, on the train, and all the while in the unceasing change of the landscape—the physical landscape, and the landscape of the soul. From all this emerges a platform, for experiencing and exploring and thinking about the human body, about intimacy—and about violence.


Critical praise


Elmakias’ first novel demonstrates an impressive sensitivity to language.



The evocative language at work in this book is its strength, and underscores its uniqueness.

Makor Rishon

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