Dorit Rabinyan was an acclaimed writer even before publishing her controversial novel Borderlife, with its focus on an Israeli-Palestinian romance. Born to an Iranian Jewish family, Rabinyan published a poetry collection, Yes, Yes, Yes, in 1990. She spent her military service working for the army newspaper, but got in trouble for inventing characters when she needed interview quotes for articles. After the army, she engaged in a literary experiment of imagining her grandmother’s life, which a friend showed to a publisher. This became her bestselling 1995 novel Persian Brides, for which she won the Weiner Prize. She followed this with Our Weddings in 1999 as well as a screenplay, Shuli’s Fiance, which won the Best Drama Award from the Israeli Film Academy in 1997. After a long hiatus, in 2014 she published Borderlife (later retitled All the Rivers), which became the focal point of a national conversation when Israeli high school teachers hoping to add it to the curriculum were barred from doing so by the Israeli Ministry of Education, who claimed the novel advocated intermarriage. Teachers protested and sales of the novel soared. Borderlife won the 2015 Bernstein Prize and the 2016 Publisher’s Association Platinum Prize.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Dorit Rabinyan." (Viewed on September 20, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/rabinyan-dorit>.