Two She-Bears (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Meir Shalev, Stuart Schoffman (Translated by)

Schocken, 9780805243291, 320pp.

Publication Date: September 13, 2016

List Price: 26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


One of Israel’s most celebrated novelists—the acclaimed author of A Pigeon and a Boy—gives us a story of village love and vengeance in the early days of British Palestine that is still being played out two generations later.

“In the year 1930 three farmers committed suicide here . . . but contrary to the chronicles of our committee and the conclusions of the British policeman, the people of the moshava knew that only two of the suicides had actually taken their own lives, whereas the third suicide had been murdered.” This is the contention of Ruta Tavori, a high school teacher and independent thinker in this small farming community who is writing seventy years later about that murder, about two charismatic men she loves and is trying to forgive—her grandfather and her husband—and about her son, whom she mourns and misses.

In a story rich with the grit, humor, and near-magical evocation of Israeli rural life for which Meir Shalev is beloved by readers, Ruta weaves a tale of friendship between men, and of love and betrayal, which carries us from British Palestine to present-day Israel, where forgiveness, atonement, and understanding can finally happen.

About the Author

One of Israel’s most celebrated novelists, MEIR SHALEV was born in 1948 on Nahalal, Israel’s first moshav. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and have been best sellers in Israel, Holland, and Germany. He is also a columnist for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. His honors include the National Jewish Book Award and the Brenner Prize, one of Israel’s top literary awards, for A Pigeon and a Boy. He has been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. Shalev lives in Jerusalem and in the north of Israel.

STUART SCHOFFMAN worked as a journalist at Time and as a screenwriter in Hollywood before moving to Israel in 1988.  He has written about Jewish and Israeli culture and politics for many publications, including The Jerusalem Report and the Jewish Review of Books.  His translations from Hebrew include Beginnings by Meir Shalev, Lion's Honey by David Grossman, and three novels by A.B. Yehoshua: Friendly Fire, The Retrospective, and The Extra.

Praise For Two She-Bears: A Novel

"An alluring novel, wrapped in matters of life and death."
Hadassah Magazine

“Devastatingly engrossing . . . Emotionally surprising . . . A masterful work that explores with great insight the mysteries that surround male closeness.”
—Elaine Margolin, Jerusalem Post

“Sublime storytelling . . . Meir Shalev again delivers a fascinating novel.”
—De Morgen (Netherlands)

“Filled with characters and their colorful stories. A history of Israeli civilization across three generations.”

—NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands)

“Shalev’s style is unmistakable, and in this book he takes on themes that haunt your thoughts: consuming passion, madness, terrible violence . . . After reading Two She-Bears, you start seeing snakes everywhere.”
—Internazionale (Italy)