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Two of Israel’s largest bookstores have banned Sally Rooney’s books.

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November 5, 2021, 1:13pm

This morning, the BBC reported that Israeli bookstores Steimatzky and Tzomet Sefarim have said they will remove Sally Rooney’s books from their branches and online sites. Steimatzky and Tzomet Sefarim are two of Israel’s biggest bookstores, with over 200 outlets across Israel.

This announcement comes on the heels of Rooney’s refusal to sign another translation deal with Israel’s Modan Publishing House, which published the Hebrew translations of her first two novels, due to her compliance with the BDS movement in support of the Palestinian people. Now, Conversations With Friends and Normal People—both translated into Hebrew by Modan Publishing House—will not be available from Steimatzky or Tzomet Sefarim.

Wrote Rooney in a statement about her decision to forgo the Modan deal, “It would be an honor for me to have my latest novel translated into Hebrew and available to Hebrew-language readers. But for the moment, I have chosen not to sell those translation rights to an Israeli-based publishing house . . . the Hebrew-language translation rights to my new novel are still available, and if I can find a way to sell these rights that is compliant with the BDS movement’s institutional boycott guidelines, I will be very pleased and proud to do so. In the meantime I would like to express once again my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.”

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