2: Excerpt of a literary jury's statement, Sami Bardugo, Orna Coussin, and Ehud Ein-Gil, "Haaretz" short story contest, 2005.
Almog Behar's "Ana min al-yahud" won Haaretz's short story contest in 2005. The statement of the jury that selected it, comprised of other Israeli authors, appears in full alongside the story on the Haaretz website. The judges first discuss the merits of Behar's story, which they commend for "the richness and quality of the writing, a light whiff of humor and unexpected changes of direction [that] make it clear that this is indeed a story and not a protest article in disguise," and then discuss the general traits of all the stories submitted for the prize — around 2,000 in total. This excerpt comes from that portion of the statement.
Suggested activity: Read over the excerpt with your students. Discuss: in what way does Behar's story match the description of the general crop of submissions, and in what ways does it differ? Is Behar’s story local or universal? Is it specific or anonymous? How does Behar’s story work against the namelessness and anonymity that the judges are attributing to the other submissions? How does it perhaps work against strains of anonymity in the Modern Hebrew language itself? And why is it that the narrator’s grandfather, Anwar, is named right at the top of the story, while the narrator (like others the judges describe in this quotation) never is?
Source: Sami Bardugo, Orna Coussin, and Ehud Ein-Gil, statement on the submissions for Haaretz's Short Story Competition (Tel Aviv: Haaretz, April 28, 2005), <https://www.haaretz.com/1.4852446>, accessed March 20, 2018.