Authors back Sally Rooney’s boycott of Israeli publisher

Dozens of writers and publishers back Irish author over Israel boycott
1 min read
22 November, 2021
Sally Rooney's decision to boycott an Israeli publisher is part of a broader cultural movement in support of Palestine.
Irish novelist Sally Rooney has decided not to sell translation rights to an Israeli publisher [Getty]

Several major authors have backed Irish writer Sally Rooney's decision not to sell translation rights to an Israeli publisher, The Guardian reported on Monday.

Rooney's decision is an "exemplary response to the mounting injustices inflicted on Palestinians", said the letter of support signed by around 70 writers and publishers including Kevin Barry, Rachel Kushner, Geoff Dyer, Pankaj Mishra, Carmen Callil, and Ahdaf Soueif. 

The letter was launched by Artists for Palestine UK, a cultural network in support of Palestine.

The bestselling novelist declined to sell Hebrew translation rights for her novel Beautiful World, Where Are You to the publisher Modan, which had published her previous two books. In response, two Israeli book chains pulled her novels from their shelves but the novelist remained undeterred. 

Rooney said last month that she supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) and that she did not feel it would be right to collaborate with an Israeli company "that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people".

Kamila Shamsie, one of the signatories of the letter and winner of the Women’s prize, previously had a literary prize withdrawn over her support for BDS.