A book by Israeli author Assaf Gavron, winner of Cologne's 2012 Book for the City award, will be feted this month with a special edition in German and exposure at cultural events around the city.
Gavron's 2006 novel "Croc Attack!" depicts Israel during the terror attacks a decade ago. It's the author's third book to be translated into German. Gavron shares the prestigious prize with an autobiography by Palestinian author Sumaya Farhat Naser.
Cologne's Book of the City events, in their 20th year, are sponsored by the city's largest daily newspaper, the Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger.
The paper's publisher, Alfred DuMont, is a part-owner of Haaretz.
Speaking by phone this week from Cologne, Gavron, who was born in 1968, told Haaretz: "The Germans read foreign literature more than any other literary market in the world. They are interested in translated literature and in Israeli literature in particular."
Gavron noted that more works by Israeli authors are translated into German than into any other language.
When asked why he thought "Croc Attack!" won the prize, Gavron said the book "deals with the period of the terror attacks and shows both sides.
"The two main characters are an Israeli and a Palestinian. I think people in Europe were enthusiastic about this balance, which in Israel was not very well received," he said.
The subject of Gavron's next book, due out in January, is an outpost in West Bank.
The book by Gavron's co-laureate Sumaya Farhat Naser, "Thymian und Steine" ("Thyme and Stones") was published 13 years ago, only in German. Naser, a Palestinian Christian born in 1948 in Bir Zeit near Ramallah, lectures on botany at Birzeit University and is a human-rights activist.
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