Ruth Books publishing house was born out of love of language and literature, and out of faith in the power of a book to open a reader’s soul to new worlds and cultures. The titles we publish introduce the Hebrew reader to a varied, multi-layered kaleidoscope of unique literary works, characterized by an attempt to examine one’s situation with respect to the social and political conditions of one’s time. Even as they are coalesced into small enclosures, they leave a window open to the gales of the world. Unique as they are in their style and contents, they will not be reflecting the light of vials of ivory and colored glass – in the words of T.S. Eliot - but rather serve as an oriel open to the World, through which images of a house and a street and a fire are depicted.
Alongside contemporary works that develop new instruments to express an ever-changing world and extract tales yet untold from the great commotion, we strive to introduce the reader to past classics that the present day loads with a renewed urgency. Both are inspired by the faith that fiction not only scrutinizes the world, but also intervenes in it and changes it however it can. To this end, we have recruited the best, most appreciated translators and editors in Israel, and insisted on a unique design alongside meticulous print and finish which respect the written word as well as our readers. Ruth Books are designed as artist's books, hardbound with linen thread sewn binding and efalin dust jackets, and are printed on fine paper.
After two years of dedicated effort, we have established the World series, which brings to readers literature of quality in the traditional sense of the word, but also environmentally conscious in the contemporary sense. This is literature that not only focuses on the inner lives of characters and the traditional social structures in which they exist but also addresses the external pressures affecting their worlds: climate change and changing demographic conditions due to phenomena like migration, wars, colonialism, and the expansion of capitalism. This is literature that deepens its gaze into the local aspects of a world undergoing continual globalization, tracing the changes that occur at specific moments and places in local cultures that have been formed over hundreds or even thousands of years and are now fading—sometimes gradually, sometimes instantaneously. The series maintains the human focus of literature but wraps it in the sweeping changes that are affecting all facets of human existence in the face of extreme transformations that characterize the present. It brings to readers burning questions of ecology, social justice, and animal rights.
In the production processes of the series, we have also considered issues of sustainability, opting for soft covers and eco-friendly paper, and the series will also be available in digital media.
Ruth Books are fairly priced and are available for purchase in select privately-owned bookstores or directly from the publisher’s website.
Longyearbyen, Heidi Sævareid, translated from Norwegian by Dana Caspi
Emily L., Marguerite Duras, translated from French by Rama Ayalon
Ce que le jour doit à la nuit (What the Day Owes the Night), Yasmina Khadra, translated from French by Rama Ayalon
Ja (Yes), Thomas Bernhard, translated from German by Tali Konas
Jo fortere jeg går, jo mindre er jeg (The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am), Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold, translated from Norwegian by Dana Caspi
Flores artificiais (Artificial Flowers), Luiz Ruffato, translated from Portuguese by Rami Saari
La Cheffe, roman d'une cuisinière (The Cheffe), Marie NDiaye, translated from French by Rama Ayalon
Happiness, Aminatta Forna, translated from English by Daphna Rosenbluth
Der Stimmenimitator (The Voice Imitator), Thomas Bernhard, translated from German by Tali Konas