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Dori Manor & Moshe Sakal

Dory Manor, born in Tel Aviv (1971), is a poet, translator and editor.

He has published four collections of poetry:

Minority (2001), Alpha and Omega, a libretto co-authored with Anna Herman for an opera based on a series of lithographs by Edvard Munch (2001) and Baritone (2005). A volume of his collected poetic works, The Center of the Flesh, edited by scholar Dan Miron, was published in 2012 in a collaborative project of Mosad Bialik and Hakibbutz Hameuchad book publishers.

Manor is the founder and editor of the prestigious literary magazine Oh! (since 2005) and served (2007-2014) as Editor in Chief and Senior Education Specialist at the Israeli Educational Program for the Arts & Humanities (Sal Tarbut Artzi ).

In 2017 he got his PhD in Translation Studies and Comparative Literature from INALCO University of Paris (thesis on the translations of French poetry into Modern Hebrew). From 1996 to 2006 he resided in Paris, teaching Hebrew literature and translation at the INALCO University and at the Institut National de Sciences Politiques.

His Hebrew translations of classic literature include works by authors such as Voltaire, Descartes, Molière, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Valéry, Apollinaire, Ginsberg, Blake, Lorca, Auden and others.

In 2015 Manor co-edited (with Ronen Sonis) Niflaata, the first Hebrew language anthology of LGBT poetry, including texts going from ancient Greek and Sumerian poetry to contemporary Israeli verse. 

Manor is the recipient of several literary awards, among which the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Writers (2007), the Tchernichovsky Prize for Translation of World Masterpieces for his translation of Voltaire's Candide (2008), the Ministry of Culture biannual prize for the best literary editor (2011) and the prestigious Yehuda Amichai prize for his poetry (2015). he is an Honorary Fellow in Writing by the University of Iowa, USA.

Moshe Sakal is the author of five Hebrew novels, including THE DIAMOND SETTER, published in NYC in March 2018 (translated by Man Booker Prize winner, Jessica Cohen), which was named one of TimeOut New York’s “11 Books You Will Want to Binge-Read This Month,” and Entertainment Weekly has called “a vital depiction of queer life in the Middle East, a misunderstood intersection of identities.” His best-selling YOLANDA, was short-listed for the Sapir Prize and was published in France in 2012, and MY SISTER, his latest novel, was long-listed in 2016.

 

Sakal was awarded the title of Honorary Fellow in Writing by the University of Iowa, the Eshkol prize for his work, and a Fulbright grant (the America-Israel Education Trust). He has published essays and opinion pieces in several major Israeli outlets including Ha’aretz as well as in Le Monde (France), Forward, and Salon (USA).

 

Sakal was born in Tel-Aviv in 1976 into a Syrian-Egyptian Jewish family. Fluent in three languages, he studied and worked in France between 2000 and 2006. Until recently, Sakal headed the Literary Division of the Israeli Center for Books and Libraries, and he is currently the Digital Strategy Manager at the new Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University. He lives in Jaffa.

 

About the book: https://www.otherpress.com/books/the-diamond-setter/

Author’s website: www.moshesakal.com


 

Praise for THE DIAMOND SETTER

 

**NAMED a TIME OUT NY “11 BOOKS YOU WILL WANT TO BINGE-READ THIS MONTH” PICK**

 

“If you enjoy richly plotted intergenerational stories inspired by true events, Moshe Sakal’s The Diamond Setter offers bountiful pleasures…a gloriously immersive journey into different cultures.” —The Forward

 

“Beautifully written” — Bill Goldman, NBC

 

“…what’s best is the unselfconsciously sensuous writing (with a range of sexuality easily accepted) and the beautifully depicted sense of a time gone by when borders were open and Jew and Arab commingled.” —Library Journal

 

“[An] essential read...[one] of 2018's biggest titles... a vital depiction of queer life in the Middle East, a misunderstood intersection of identities”

 

—ENTERTAINMENTWEEKLY.COM

 

"Just shy of Israel's 70th birthday…[a] new work…exploring the national, political, and spiritual mythology of the highly fraught country. Moshe Sakal's novel The Diamond Setter—a bestseller in Israel and now released for the first time stateside—charts a gay love triangle among a Tel Aviv jeweler, a soldier, and a handsome Syrian, all linked by a mysterious blue diamond. The book plunges backward into the characters' family histories—and to a time before the founding of the country—to reveal the ways that the past can still ensnarl us."

 

—Andy Warhol's INTERVIEW MAGAZINE

 

“Moshe Sakal’s books make me miss a life I never lived. In The Diamond Setter, he surpasses himself [with] the blue diamond’s wonderful journey across continents and nations. A rare book by a rare writer.”

 

—Ari Folman, Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee for Waltz with Bashir

 

“A kaleidoscopic journey into the Middle East of the present and the not-so-distant past, told through the overlapping stories of characters whose intertwining lives revolve around the fate of a rare and storied diamond…Sakal weaves elements of his own biography into a tale that is part mystery, part family history, and part myth… remind[ing] the reader that we are all, in some way or another, connected.”

 

—KIRKUS REVIEWS

 

"This story is about Israel today, in its most complex, acculturated, even liberated format… There is…a flow of cultures; languages—people switch in a wink from Hebrew to English to Arabic; and sexual attitudes...There are...sparkling, beautiful passages in this novel...now that Donald Trump wants to move the capital of Israel over to Jerusalem, The Diamond Setter is very relevant: Jaffa and Tel Aviv represent a modern city’s role in justice, the quest for equality, and continuing rationality in a very irrational area of the world. We will need all three of these humane desires in Eretz Yisrael for a very long time."

 

—HUFFINGTON POST

 

“…the novel is richly evocative, rewarding careful reading.”

 

—BOOKLIST

 

"Lush, imaginative, and seductive, Moshe Sakal's The Diamond Setter offers a perfect combination of passion, suspense, insight, and beauty. Jessica Cohen’s brilliant translation only further enhances the reading experience, making it into a true literary treat."

 

—Ruby Namdar, author of The Ruined House

 

“As the title of Sakal’s book suggests, there’s a diamond at the heart of this story—literally. And in telling the story of a host of interwoven lives across generations, Sakal makes room for his narrative to encompass huge issues: the geopolitics of the Middle East, gentrification, sexuality, borders, aging, and the bonds of family. Yet this book never feels ponderous: Sakal keeps things moving briskly throughout…the charm of the novel’s characters and the humanism with which Sakal tells this story go a long way.”

 

—WORDS WITHOUT BORDERS

 

“The work is remarkable for its experimental structure, the cultural histories it highlights and the various taboos Sakal confronts…reveal[ing] an author who is grasping to understand the consequences of a violent epoch that has divided people based on their faith and ethnicity, yet has seen the birth of an eclectic democracy that is a beacon of light in an otherwise oppressed region. Grateful for the protections Israel offers certain minorities, especially the LGBTQ community, Sakal’s novel questions the extent to which Israelis are truly free to love, so long as physical and political borders bind them in…English readers hungry for a better understanding of the social, political and economic forces influencing the only democracy in the Middle East now have a jeweler’s loupe through which to view the country’s many facets.”

 

—JEWISH NEWS SYNDICATE

 

“Moshe Sakal's THE DIAMOND SETTER is an ambitious novel that is epic in scope (even while most of its geography comes back to a small section of Tel Aviv/Jaffa) and at the same time tightly focused on the intergenerational lives and loves of its characters. Like one of the titular multi-faceted gemstones, it's reflective and refractive–actively twisting and weaving our perceptions of history and myth (personal myths and national myths) and even the very notions of narrative itself, breaking the fourth wall of the novel as it explores activism, politics, pinkwashing, and the Arab Spring, love triangles, and the notions of home and the right(s) of return.”

 

—Lawrence Schimel, two-time Lambda Literary Award-winning author and translator

 

“A fascinating glimpse into an early 20th - century Middle East

 

where familial entanglements and intimacies of all kinds still flourished between Jews and Arabs.”

 

—Judith Frank, Eliza J. Clark Folger Professor at Amherst College

 

“The blue diamond ‘Sabakh’ becomes the underlying common thread that interweaves fascinating and beautiful characters, bridging different generations and countries in this captivating novel from Moshe Sakal. The Diamond Setter is a mystery that unfolds brilliantly. I cannot recommend it enough.”

 

—Hasan Namir, Lambda Literary Award–winning author of God in Pink