Sally Rooney refuses to cede the rights to her new novel to an Israeli publisher

The Irish writer Sally Rooney announced this Tuesday that she will not transfer the translation rights to her latest novel, Where are you, beautiful world, to an Israeli publisher, in protest against Israel’s policy with the Palestinians. The author, of 30, recalled in a statement collected by the Efe agency that two recent reports from humanitarian organizations have described the situation in Palestine as apartheid, for which he has decided to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. “BDS is a non-violent, anti-racist, grassroots campaign led by Palestinians calling for an economic and cultural boycott against complicit Israeli companies and institutions, in response to the system of apartheid and other serious human rights violations “, explained Rooney.

” I will be delighted and proud to do so, “said Rooney, who took advantage of his statement to highlight the work of translation into Hebrew carried out by Katyah Benovits with her two previous novels, Conversations between friends and Normal people . “I would like to thank everyone involved in publishing these books for supporting my work. It would also be an honor for me to have my latest novel translated into Hebrew and available to readers in that language. But for the moment, I have chosen not to sell these translation rights to an Israel-based publisher, ”Rooney continues. “It simply does not seem right to me, in the current circumstances, to accept a new contract with an Israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and does not support the rights of the Palestinian people stipulated by the UN “

The writer has recognized that,” of course, many other States “, besides Israel, are” guilty of abuses “, which was also applicable to the case of South Africa” ​​during the campaign against apartheid there ”. “In this particular case, I am responding to an appeal made by Palestinian civil society, including all the major workers ‘and writers’ unions.” Rooney has assured that the translation rights for the novel “are still available”, as long as he “finds a way to sell them” that “complies with the guidelines” set by the BDS.

The Irish writer concludes her statement by expressing her “solidarity” with the Palestinian people in “their struggle for freedom, justice and equality.” Among the reports Rooney cites is one from the human rights organization Human Rights Watch that accused Israel of imposing a regime of apartheid and that provoked a resounding rejection by the government.

Responsible for the Israeli publisher Modan, which has edited Rooney’s previous books, assured the American newspaper The New York Times that they had been interested in September for the rights of Where are you, beautiful world, but that the writer had replied that she did not want to publish in Israel, without offering further details.

‘Normal people’

Rooney’s novels analyze the fragility of love. Millions of readers and viewers – Normal people became a television series— have awaited the third novel, Where are you, beautiful world (Literature Random House), which was published in Spain on September 9. Before she was successful, she had two jobs, one in a restaurant and the other as a college debate coach, was pursuing an MA in American Cultural Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and managed to find the time to write a novel, Conversations between friends , which in 2017 captivated critics and the public, and turned her into a brilliant literary star. The phenomenon Sally Rooney has just been forged with Normal People, her next novel, which she published just a year later.

Her books are a recurring motif in the photos that thousands of his readers upload to Instagram. Reading Rooney and posting it on social media, they say, has become a status symbol among those under 40. Although they are carried out by twenty-somethings of the twenty-first century in a post-crisis Dublin, the truth is that Rooney’s novels have something quite classic, they are love stories, in a time when auto-fiction and dystopias are rampant. “The novel in the Anglo-Saxon, French and Russian tradition dramatizes questions about love and marriage. This is how it was born and it is a genre that is especially well built to support this type of drama. Today these plots are not the ones that predominate and I don’t really know why ”, she reflected in an interview for EL PAÍS in which she admitted that as a reader the most powerful experience she has had has been to feel drawn by the love stories of the great plays. Critics have called her the first great millennial writer, a sort of Salinger generation Snapchat.

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