-Joseph, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
Jerusalem Writers Festival
On Sunday, May 10th, 2015 Sami Rohr Prize winner Ayelet Tsabari and 2014 Sami Rohr Prize winner Matti Friedman participated in a literary conversation moderated by Sami Rohr Prize judge Evan Fallenberg as part of the Jerusalem Writers Festival's first digital edition. The wonderful conversation, titled “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off,” focused on the significance of literary prizes, writing in the time of COVID-19, navigating between Hebrew and English, and belonging to several global literary communities.
We asked the participants a few questions following the event.
What was it like participating in one of the first digital international literary festivals?
For me it's the best of bad options. I missed the build-up, the camaraderie with my fellow panelists and other writers and the organizers, missed the audience, the audience! - a void; I am always very aware of what they are enjoying and can be expanded upon or when to speed the conversation up - and I missed beautiful Mishkenot Sha'ananim itself, which invariably gives me a feeling of serenity and a sense that I am part of something longstanding and glorious.
I loved being a part of it! While I missed being in Mishkenot - I attended the festival last year and I loved the festival's international atmosphere - I was thrilled to hear they decided to move it to a digital format. I think it's a brilliant solution. Digital events are inclusive in so many ways and I am grateful for them.
One of the great things about writing is meeting readers and other authors in person. We spend a lot of time at home on the computer as it is. So let's just say -- it will be nice when the real thing becomes feasible again.
What was your favorite part?
Matti and Ayelet; they are both delightful and engaging.
Being able to wear yoga pants and socks at a literary event.
I like seeing other people's houses in the background.
What are you working on now?
A novel, a screenplay and a play, none of which has anything to do with the others.
I'm working on a novel but it's too early to speak about it. I said too much about it during the event already! I'd rather not repeat it.
A project about an interesting cultural moment in the Yom Kippur War.