The novelist behind Normal People and Conversations with Friends has declined to sell the translation rights for her new book to the Israeli-based publishing house that translated her previous works. Sally Rooney said that “it would be an honor” to have her latest book, Beautiful World, Where Are You, translated into Hebrew, but could not do it via an Israeli company in response to “a call from Palestinian civil society.” She expressed “my solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom, justice, and equality.”
Rooney’s Israeli publisher, Modan Publishing House, told The New York Times in an email that it was not given an explanation when the author’s camp told the house back in September that the novelist wasn’t interested in publishing in Israel. “I simply do not feel it would be right for me under the present circumstances to accept a new contract with an Israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights fo the Palestianian people,” Rooney said in a Tuesday statement. She added that she would be open to translating her book into Hebrew if she could find a way to do so in compliance with the guidelines of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.