Sarit Yishai-LeviMar 28, 2023
The Woman Beyond the Sea
Amazon Crossing 2023
Today I talked to Sarit Yishai-Levi about The Woman Beyond the Sea (Amazon Crossing, 2023). The book was translated by Gilah Kahn-Hoffmann.
Eliyah is 25 when she travels from Tel Aviv to Paris to meet up with her husband, who turns out to be having an affair with a French woman. As her life crumbles, Eliyah plunges into a deep depression, returns home to her childhood bed, and slowly descends into madness. The therapist assigned to her after a suicide attempt manages to help her rebuild her life, but she still grapples with Lily, her not-very loving mother. Then Eliyah and her mother journey across the sea to discover the truth about who they both are. Moving but sometimes horrifying backstories set around the world fill out the lives of the characters - Eliyah’s mother, father, her new boyfriend, and her grandparents. This is a sweeping saga about trauma, betrayal, antisemitism, expulsion from home and country, and secrets.
Sarit Yishai-Levi Yishai-Levi was born in Jerusalem to a Sephardic family that has lived in the city for eight generations. She’s been living with her family in Tel Aviv since 1970 and is a renowned Israeli journalist and author. In 2016 she published her first book, The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem. It immediately became a bestseller and garnered critical acclaim. The book sold more than three hundred thousand copies in Israel, was translated into ten languages, and was adapted into a TV series that won the Israeli TV award for best drama series. It also won the Publishers Association’s Gold, Platinum, and Diamond prizes; the Steimatzky Prize for bestselling book of the year in Israel; and the WIZO France Prize for best book translated into French. Yishai-Levi’s second book, The Woman Beyond the Sea, was published in 2019. It won the Publishers Association’s Gold and Platinum prizes and was adapted for television by Netflix.