Author, translator and teacher, slight in build, emotive in expression, both a listener and a man of words, Evan instills his love of writing into the hearts and souls of those who spend time with him. Born in Cleveland Ohio in 1961, fourth generation to a non-traditional and assimilated immigrant Jewish family, he grew up with little connection to his Jewish roots. He graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in diplomacy. During his junior year he studied in Geneva and also spent time in Paris. In the European setting of these cities, the different life style and mentality to that in which he grew up whetted his appetite for knowledge of his Jewish roots. In Paris he felt more 'at home' than in Ohio.

After qualifying, he was employed by the Japanese Ministry of Education and spent a year in Hita, which he describes as "the absolute back of beyond", and there, the feeling of being "the stranger", gave him the desire for a true knowledge of his own Jewish background. His desire to return to Paris was cast aside and instead he came to Israel to learn about his roots, and at last he felt at home. He attended ulpan in Arad and also discovered close family who opened their arms to him in true Jewish style.

Evan's first place of employ was the Museum of the Diaspora and it was there he met the woman who was to become his wife. He began to teach English and later, as a father of two, he searched for ways to improve his income; this brought him into the field of editing and the preparation of textbooks; this led him to translating and the teaching of this in Beit Berl. His longing for creative writing drove him from his bed at 04.30 in the morning when he would write for a couple of hours in search of an outlet. Eventually he decided he must develop these skills and enrolled for a creative writing degree at Vermont College in the States. This involved five study periods of 10 to12 days there and a continuation of work by correspondence with a faculty advisor.

It was during this period that his novel was conceived but completion and delivery took a number of years as life and work made their demands upon him. He has meantime translated the works of several well known Israeli novelists and has won recognition for this – his translation of Meir Shalev's 'A Pigeon and a Boy' was awarded the 2007 National Jewish Book Council Award for Fiction and was runner-up for the PEN Translation Prize for 2007. He also translated Ron Leshem's "Beaufort" and Alon Hilu's award winning novel "The Death of a Monk". Evan runs regular workshops for would-be writers, which is how we met, as well as stimulating yearly retreats with fellow writer Judy Labensohn.

And now, at last, Evan's first novel, the consummation of many years of writing and perfecting – 'Light Fell' has been published to excellent reviews. The book is published by Soho Press and is available in Tsomit Sefarim. Besides further work in the field of fiction and lecturing in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University Evan plans to open a writing centre at his home in Betan Aharon where he will run mini-courses for hopeful writers and lovers of fiction.

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About the author

Barbara Abraham-Vazana

Barbara Abraham was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her studies include: Cours de Civilisation Francais, Sorbonne Paris; Queens University Belfast - B.A; Dundee University - Creative Writing cou...

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