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Adaf, Shim'on

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1972-    ) Israeli editor, musician, poet and author; born to Moroccan immigrant parents, he grew up in Sderot, a poor town situated some five kilometres from Gaza City and populated by mostly Moroccan Jewish immigrants. His childhood experience shapes much of his fiction.

Adaf has won several awards for his poetry, which is widely translated. He moved to Tel Aviv after his military service, where he became the youngest ever editor of a major prose line, for the prestigious Keter publishing house. As an editor, he was influential in publishing original Hebrew works of genre interest. At the time he was also active as a musician, performing and writing for other acts; some of his songs have become a mainstay of radio playlists.

Adaf's first novel, Kilometer ve-yomayim lifne ha-sheki'ah ["One Mile and Two Days Before Sunset"] (2004), is a literary murder mystery set in the 1990s music scene in Tel Aviv. Ha'lev ha'kavur ["The Buried Heart"] (2006) is a remarkable Young Adult fantasy based on Jewish mythology. Since then, genre elements have become increasingly more important in his work, which often combines elements of science fiction, poetry and detective fiction with a literary sensibility (see Equipoise), as demonstrated by his accomplished third novel, Panim tseruve hamah (2008; trans Margalit Rodgers and Anthony Berris as Sunburnt Faces 2013), which follows the story of a young girl experiencing a religious experience (God speaks to her from the television) and her coming-of-age in a place similar to Adaf's hometown. The second part of the book follows her as an adult, now living in Tel Aviv and the author of fantasy books for children. The novel is a remarkable treatment of the theme of Wonderland, and was Adaf's most popular book in Israel.

In 2010, he began his most ambitious project, the loose Rose of Judea sequence. In Kefor ["Frost"] (2010), set in a Tel Aviv some 500 years in the future, an enclave of humans styling themselves on old Jewish tradition exist within a wider world of Posthumans. A complex mystery mixes equally influences ranging from the Bible to the sf of Samuel R Delany. The second volume is Mox Nox [Latin: "Soon the Night"] (2011), another coming-of-age story combining Alternate History, conspiracy theory and elements of a ghost story inspired by The Turn of the Screw (27 January-16 April 1898 Collier's Weekly; 1898) by Henry James (1843-1916) [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]; it won Israel's coveted Sapir Prize. The third volume is 'Arim shel matah ["Undercities"] (2012). [LTi]

Shim'on Adaf

born Sderot, Israel: 1972

works (selected)


The Rose of Judea

  • Kfor ["Frost"] (Or Yehudah, Israel: Kineret/Zemorah-Bitan, 2010) [Rose of Judea: pb/]
  • Mox Nox [Latin: "Soon the Night"] (Or Yehudah, Israel: Kineret/Zemorah-Bitan, 2011) [Rose of Judea: pb/]
  • Arim shel matah ["Undercities"] (Or Yehudah, Israel: Kineret/Zemorah-Bitan, 2012) [Rose of Judea: pb/]

individual titles

  • Panim tseruve hamah (Tel Aviv, Israel: 'Am 'oved, 2008) [pb/]
    • Sunburnt Faces (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2013) [trans by Margalit Rodgers and Anthony Berris of the above: hb/Chris Roberts]
  • Halev hakavur ["The Buried Heart"] (Tel Aviv, Israel: Ahuzat Bayit, 2006) [pb/]



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