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Jerusalem International Writers Festival gets new director

Julia Fermentto-Tzaisler says she plans to ‘shuffle the cards’ at next year’s event and acquaint guests ‘not only with the big stars, but also with lesser-known voices’

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Julia Fermentto Tzaisler, the new artistic director of the Jerusalem International Writers Festival (Courtesy Ziv Bercovich)
Julia Fermentto Tzaisler, the new artistic director of the Jerusalem International Writers Festival (Courtesy Ziv Bercovich)

Writer Julia Fermentto-Tzaisler has been named the new artistic director of the Jerusalem International Writers Festival.

Fermentto-Tzaisler, 37, is the award-winning author of “Safari,” her debut 2011 novel about an apathetic generation of urban nihilists in Tel Aviv in the post-2006 Lebanon war era, and “Kfar Saba 2000,” about a couple fantasizing a parallel life that will take them far away from their small town, where violence is bubbling under the surface.

A native of Kfar Saba now living with her partner artist David Duvshani in Tel Aviv, Fermentto-Tzaisler is a postdoctoral fellow at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Department of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics, and holds a PhD in Jewish-American and Yiddish literature from University of California San Diego.

She is replacing fellow writer Liran Golod at the festival, as Golod leaves to focus on her writing.

“My hope is that festival guests will become acquainted not only with the big stars, but also with lesser-known voices,” said Fermentto-Tzaisler. “I plan to shuffle the cards and lead an inspiring, intriguing, and innovative festival.”

The festival takes place in Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the arts and culture complex overlooking the Old City, and brings different voices from the global literary field to Israel every year, hosting leading authors alongside young writers.

Next year’s 10th festival will be held May 15–19, 2022, in parallel with the International Book Forum, two events that bring the international publishing community together in Jerusalem.

 

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