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Home >> Israeli Writers >> Nava Semel

Nava Semel

Nava Semel was born in Tel Aviv-Jaffa in 1954 and has an MA in art history. She has worked as a journalist, art critic, and TV, radio and recording producer. Semel has published six novels, a collection of short stories, a book of poetry, two plays, two opera libretti, six children’s books and TV scripts. Many of her stories have been adapted for radio, film, TV and stage in Israel, Europe and the USA. Her novel, And the Rat Laughs, has been made into an opera, running on the Israeli stage for four years (composer Ella Milch-Sheriff).

Semel has received several literary prizes, including the American National Jewish Book Award for Children`s Literature (1991), Women Writers of the Mediterranean Award (1996), the Israeli Prime Minister’s Prize (1996), Best Radio Drama Award in Austria (1996) the Rosenblum Prize for Stage Art (2005) and the latest one Woman of the Year in Literature of the City of Tel Aviv 2006.

Lecture Topics:

 Second Generation - Children of Holocaust survivors in Israel. A personal view of the past through the eyes of an author.

 Life after Death in Families of Holocaust Survivors in Israel. The Israeli family unit is a dichotomy between life and death.  Parents who survived the Holocaust put the mourning for the dead into a secret vault and the “life before” was shrouded in darkness. Their children, born in the 50’s, are a unique generation, existing between the horrors of the past and the promise of the future. They became the epiphany of life, struggling with the burden of dead relatives whose names they bear. For their parents they were living proof that the gift of life has an ongoing meaning. The last witnesses among us.  Is art the only way to overcome death? Where does the mysterious power of survival come from?

 In Search of an Israeli identity - the voyage of fathers and sons.

 Cultural Life as a microcosm of  Israeli society today.

 Women in the Israeli Experience; Survivors, Fighters, Mid Life Crisis.

 Flying Lessons - Jews versus Israelis, New Immigrants versus Sabras. Israelis trying to outlive a dream

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Images by: Fritz Cohen, Moshe Milner, Nati Harnik, Chanania Herman