The Diamond Setter (Paperback)
Other Press (NY), 9781590518915, 304pp.
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Inspired by true events, this best-selling Israeli novel traces a complex web of love triangles, homoerotic tensions, and family secrets across generations and borders, illuminating diverse facets of life in the Middle East. The uneventful life of a jeweler from Tel Aviv changes abruptly in 2011 after Fareed, a handsome young man from Damascus, crosses illegally into Israel and makes his way to the ancient port city of Jaffa in search of his roots. In his pocket is a piece of a famous blue diamond known as "Sabakh." Intending to return the diamond to its rightful owner, Fareed is soon swept up in Tel Aviv's vibrant gay scene, and a turbulent protest movement. He falls in love with both an Israeli soldier and his boyfriend--the narrator of this book--and reveals the story of his family's past: a tale of forbidden love beginning in the 1930s that connects Fareed and the jeweler. Following Sabakh's winding path, The Diamond Setter ties present-day events to a forgotten time before the establishment of the State of Israel divided the region. Moshe Sakal's poignant mosaic of characters, locales, and cultures encourages us to see the Middle East beyond its violent conflicts.
About the Author
Moshe Sakal is the author of five Hebrew novels, including the best-selling novel Yolanda, which was shortlisted for the Sapir Prize (the Israeli Booker) in 2011. 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) and Forward (USA). His novel, Sister, was published in Israel in May 2016 and was longlisted for the Sapir prize. Fluent in three languages, Sakal studied and worked in France between 2000 and 2006. Until recently, he headed the Literary Division of the Israeli Center for Books and Libraries.Jessica Cohen is a freelance translator born in England, raised in Israel, and living in Denver. She translates contemporary Israeli prose, poetry, and other creative work. Her translations include David Grossman's critically acclaimed A Horse Walks into a Bar (winner of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize), and works by major Israeli writers including Etgar Keret, Rutu Modan, Dorit Rabinyan and Ronit Matalon, as well as Golden Globe-winning director Ari Folman. She is a past board member of the American Literary Translators Association and has served as a judge for the National Translation Award.