On a rocky, beautiful hilltop stands Ma'aleh Hermesh C, a fledgling community flying under the radar. According to the government it doesn't exist; according to the military it must be defended. On this contested land, Othniel Assis - under the wary gaze of the neighbouring Palestinian village - plants asparagus, rocket and cherry tomatoes, and he installs goats - and his ever-expanding family. As Othniel cheerfully manipulates government agencies, more settlers arrive, and, amid a hodge- podge of shipping containers and mobile homes, the outpost takes root. When new arrival, Roni, hatches a plan to sell the 'artisanal' olive oil from the Palestinian village to Tel Aviv yuppies, a curious Washington Post correspondent stumbles into their midst and Ma'aleh Hermesh C becomes the focus of an international diplomatic scandal and faces its greatest test yet.
'Assaf Gavron allows us to understand the political situation in the Middle East in careful, profound and nuanced terms. He is unafraid to go into zones of conflict and find the essential human contradictions there. Gavron's work is engaging in the way that all good literature entertains - it is, in fact, very funny - but it also has lasting purpose. He is one of the most agile and necessary voices of contemporary Israeli literature.' -- Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin and TransAtlantic 'Assaf Gavron is one of the most original and powerful writers on the Israeli scene. His clear and honest writing blasts right through the cliches and the politically correct surface to touch the chaotic, ambiguous core of the Israeli identity. The Hilltop is Gavron's latest and most impressive attempt to map the Israeli society. His perspective is a must-read for every seriously curious reader.' -- Etgar Keret, author of The Nimrod Flipout and Suddenly, a Knock at the Door 'Shimmers with wisdom, truth, humor, and melancholy.' -- Amos Oz, multi award-winning Israeli author "In The Hilltop, Gavron's unique gift is on full display in all of its eccentric, genre-bending glory. He treads the line between the serious and the absurd, the tragic and the comical, the sincere and the satirical, and creates a sweeping, complex story that raises more questions than it provides answers." -- Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner 'In The Hilltop, Assaf Gavron tackles the intractable stew that is West Bank settlement. A book that further cements his place as one of today's truly committed, political Israeli novelists.' -- Nathan Englander, author of What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
Assaf Gavron is the author of seven books, and his fiction has been translated into ten languages. He has won the Israeli Prime Minister's Creative Award for Authors, the Buch fur die Stadt award in Germany, and the Prix Courrier International award in France. The son of English immigrants, he grew up in a small village near Jerusalem, and currently lives in Tel Aviv. Steven Cohen attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is a freelance writer, copyeditor, editor and translator.