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Counter Culture / October 12, 2021

Sally Rooney turns down translation of new book from Israeli publisher

Counter Culture / October 12, 2021

Sally Rooney turns down translation of new book from Israeli publisher

Words: Dylan Murphy

The author of Normal People has rejected a request from an Israeli publisher to translate her new novel Beautiful World, Where Are You, citing support for the Palestinian-led BDS campaign.

Irish writer Sally Rooney has turned down the opportunity to have her latest book Beautiful World, Where Are You translated into Hebrew. The decision was made by the author due to her stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Today, Sally shared a statement detailing the move in which she said while she was “very proud to have my previous two novels translated into Hebrew”, she has for now “chosen not to sell these translation rights to an Israeli-based publishing house”.

It comes as she has stated her willingness to support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS), a campaign that works to “end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law”.

Her statement continued to say, “Of course, many states other than Israel are guilty of grievous human rights abuses. This was also true of South Africa during the campaign against apartheid there. In this particular case, I am responding to the call from Palestinian civil society, including all major Palestinian trade unions and writers’ unions.”

Rooney did say however, that she is not totally opposed to a Hebrew translation of the book and if she “can find a way to sell these rights that is compliant with the BDS movement’s institutional boycott guidelines”, she will “be very pleased and proud to do so”.

Her statement ended with, “In the meantime I would like to express once again my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice and equality. Thank you.”

A copy of the statement on Twitter.

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