Israeli bookstores remove Sally Rooney’s books over boycott

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Israel’s two major bookstore chains, Steimatzky and Tzomet Sefarim, will stop selling Sally Rooney’s books, the two announced on Thursday.

Rooney’s books have been removed from the two companies’ websites, and they have begun the process of removing the books from their stores of which there are over 200 combined across the country.

This move comes after Modan Publishing House said last month that Rooney would not allow her new book, Beautiful World, Where Are You?, to be published in Israel because she supports BDS. Modan had previously published Rooney’s other books, Normal People and Conversations with Friends, in Hebrew. Rooney later stated that her problem was with Israel and not with her books being translated.

“It would be an honor for me to have my latest novel translated into Hebrew and available to Hebrew-language readers,” she said in a statement. “But for the moment, I have chosen not to sell these translation rights to an Israeli-based publishing house.”

This is not the first time Rooney has experienced anti-Israel opinions, as the actions and opinions of her characters in her previous books are also anti-Israel.

 Author Sally Rooney poses for a photograph ahead of the announcement of the winner of the Costa Book Awards 2018 in London, Britain, January 29, 2019 (credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS) Author Sally Rooney poses for a photograph ahead of the announcement of the winner of the Costa Book Awards 2018 in London, Britain, January 29, 2019 (credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)

“The Steimatzky chain is a literary stage and a warm and embracing home for any literary work with a love of the written word,” said a Steimatzky representative in a statement. “From the moment the subject was brought to our attention, as an immediate step, we removed the books from the site.”

“The protest we started this week is bringing fast results,” activist Yoseph Haddad wrote in a Facebook post on Tzomet Sefarim’s page on Thursday. “Steimatzky has already removed Sally Rooney’s books from their website and has announced that they will also be removed from their stores. I am happy that they made the correct and demanded choice. Those who boycott us and incite against Israel are not worthy of selling books here and making money off us.”





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