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Excerpt from a letter written by Don DeLillo to Michal:
“Your novel is a strong and ambitious work and I admire it. It’s the kind of novel that challenges the form itself, that draws it into new shapes, and it depicts an extreme state of mind, which I find fascinating…”

Yehuda Liebes – Extracts from a lecture at Mishkenot Sha’ananim

Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan – Excerpts from a lecture given at Mishkenot Sha’ananim

Extracts from reviews on The Name by: Aharon Appelfeld, The Providence Journal, David Rosenberg, Grace Shulman

Yael Zerubavel – The ‘Mythological Sabra’ and Jewish Past – Trauma, Memory, and Contested Identities

Alicia Ostriker – What’s in a Name

Rochelle Fustenberg – Free the Writers!

Rochelle Fustenberg – Excerpt From: Israeli Poetry as Prayer

Rachel Feldhay Brenner – Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History and the Post-Holocaust Quest for Redemption in Israeli Fiction – David Grosman’s See Under – Love and Michal Govrin The Name

Rachel Feldhay Brenner – How To Mend Love – Wrestling With the Legacy of the Holocaust in Recent Israeli Fiction

Nitza Keren – In the Name of the Mother – Women’s Discourse, Women’s Prayer in Michal Govrin’s The Name

Marco Roth – On the Uses and Abuses of Memory

Rachel Feldhay Brenner – Michal Govrin

Gerda Eilata – Redemption Promised – Redemption-As-Death – Dionysian Messianism in D.M. Thomas, ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ and Michal Govrin, ‘Hashem’

Brigitte Goldstein – An Ethereal, Haunting Song

Alan Rosenberg – Betrayal, Repentance and Holocaust Nightmares

Interviews with Michal Govrin on The Name: Rachel Feldhay Brenner, Helit Yeshurun, Eilat Negev Yedioth Ahronot


Translated excerpts from the book:

Russian translation

French translation


Michal Govrin’s Novel, The Name – Synopsis

Letter Correspondences About the Translation of The Name Between Barbara Heshav and Michal Govrin from 1995 and from 1996

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The Name

Riverhead Books of Penguin Putnam Inc , New York. Hardcover edition: 1998; Trade paperback edition: 1999 | Translated From the Hebrew by By Barbara Harshav
Laureate of the Kugel Library Prize (in Hebrew, 1997) and of the Koret Jewish Book Award (for the English translation, 1999)

Within months of its publication in Israel, The Name was heralded by critics and scholars alike, who compared its author to such writers as Dostoevsky, Gogol, Gide, and Beckett. The novel – a story of one woman’s embrace of mystical Judaism and parallel descent into madness – was later awarded one of the country’s most prestigious literary prizes, establishing Michal Govrin as a singular new voice in world literature.

Preparatory draft of a sentence in the novel, playing with different personal pronouns: I, you, she

The Name is the narrative of Amalia, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, named for her father’s first wife, a concert pianist who perished in a Nazi death camp and whose sanctified memory haunts Amalia’s youth. In a decisive, rebellious break from the culture of remembrance in which she was raised, Amalia grows into a wild, defiant young woman who attempts, unsuccessfully, to remake her life, to change her identity, to redefine herself as a woman stripped of history. Unable to escape her cultural legacy and plagued by troubling questions of faith, Amalia seeks refuge in an ultra-Orthodox women’s seminary in Jerusalem and assumes yet another persona, that of the ba’alat tshuva – the penitent. As Amalia struggles with the weight of remembrance, she must also make peace with the God who presides over a wounded world. Before long she is drawn to a charismatic rabbi who preaches a fiery heterodoxy. Amalia moves into an isolated apartment on the fringe of Jerusalem and devotes herself to rituals of purification and redemption that are to culminate in a heroic, ultimate act of atonement.

In Govrin’s hands, the city of Jerusalem becomes a luminous, imposing character in the story – an entity whose complex religious, political, and social tensions mirror Amalia’s confused and delusional state of mind. Govrin’s style and dexterity are virtuosic, ranging from the liturgical to the confessional, from the erotic to the sublime, and marking this as a literary debut of great moment.

Preparation chart: weeks in the counting of the Omer and events