Ayelet Gundar-Goshen was born in Israel in 1982 and holds an MA in Clinical Psychology from Tel Aviv University. Her film scripts have won prizes at international festivals, including the Berlin Today Award and the New York City Short Film Festival Award. Her debut novel One Night, Markovitch won the Sapir Prize for best debut and is being translated into five languages.
Gundar-Goshen's gripping second novel twists and turns like a thriller, and it is particularly impressive in its moral ambiguities Sunday Times The great overlooked read of the summer... its real engine, one that never stops thrumming, is the idea that life can change for ever in one nauseating second -- Rachel Cooke Observer The highly anticipated second novel [by Gundar-Goshen]... proves it's not every day a writer like this comes our way Guardian Waking Lions is a classy, suspenseful tale of survival where the good guys and the bad guys are harder to distinguish than you might think. The implications of Gundar-Goshen's work extend far beyond its Israeli setting and shine a penetrating light into the dark corners of our safe lives The Times A literary thriller that is used as a vehicle to explore big moral issues. I loved everything about it Daily Mail An absorbing and atmospheric tale from an exciting literary talent Tatler Tense thriller set among Israel's illegal immigrant community -- Mariella Frostrup Observer's Best Holiday Reads 2016 If there were a literary prize for nail-biting first lines, Israeli writer Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's second novel, Waking Lions, would win...brave and startling Financial Times A sophisticated, angst-filled thriller Spectator A complex and affecting moral thriller New Statesman Waking Lions shows us that there's more mystery in who we think we are than in the narrative of any crime thriller Sunday Herald Tense thriller with serious moral dimension by a critically acclaimed Israeli writer The Sunday Times Crime Club A gripping drama... tense pageturner that should appeal to fans of film noir The Lady What gives Waking Lions its edge is Gundar-Goshen's deja-vu evoking depiction of the mental bunny hops which dominate our waking hours. Her writing on the fluctuations of selfish, guilt-ridden parental love reads like an open wound, its truth just as visceral Big Issue [Ayelet Gundar-Goshen] can take a straightforward genre - the thriller - and use it to explore big moral and political questions about secrets, lies and race in modern-day Israel... we enter a new genre: Israeli noir Jewish Chronicle A gripping novel Jewish News A daring, genre-defying literary creation... [a] remarkable novel, so layered it is with meanings, perspectives and insights Thriller Books Journal Extraordinarily assured...daring Jewish Quarterly Takes real events and fictionalises them to explore themes of self-awareness, intimacy, and the human capacity for good and evil, ignorance and indifference, concealment and deception Bookanista A gripping and tense thriller Jewish Renaissance magazine One of the best crime books to cross my desk in some time Crime Review Waking Lions personalises the situation providing insights into the uncomfortable mix of guilt and anger of the host country coupled with the helplessness and fatalism of the refugees The Bay Ultimately, about humanity. All of that wrapped in a drama that is gripping enough if you don't want to think that far into what it all means... but to be honest, I defy you not to respond to the depth Bookbag [Waking Lions] is a sharp, thoughtful, challenging novel. It makes Ayelet Gundar-Goshen out as a very talented writer indeed The Writes of Woman (blog) The synopsis of Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's second novel, Waking Lions, is like the premise for a movie Elle Thinks (blog) Gundar-Goshen's fine book explores guilt and obligation in a way that left this reader enriched but very, very uncomfortable indeed Shelf Life (blog) If it affects you as it did me you will finish it feeling slightly dirty, spoiled by whatever privileges and comforts you may enjoy, and guilty, definitely guilty in your complicity in looking away from suffering Eve's Alexandria (blog) Such an informative and surprising novel Lizzy's Literary Life (blog) A cleverly-plotted novel with a strong moral and highly contemporary sociopolitical theme Annethology (blog) I couldn't stop reading it, a book I'd recommend to everyone - it's a grenade! SFR Book Club A tense tale of life at the margins of society Bookbag's Top Ten Literary Fiction Books of 2016 A gripping, suspenseful and morally devastating drama... Gripping, provocative, original, it's stayed with me more, perhaps, than any other book I read this year Foyles Top Ten Fiction Titles of 2016 Waking Lions, in a propulsive translation from Hebrew by Sondra Silverstone, yokes a crime story to thorny ethical issues in ways reminiscent of Donna Tartt and Richard Price... it's a rare book that can trouble your conscience while holding you in a fine state of suspense Wall Street Journal Anyone who loves the magic of the printed word should read Waking Lions... Gunnar Goshen has earned, and deserves, a worldwide audience, and this magnificent novel may well be the vehicle for that Bookreporter Waking Lions is a griping, suspenseful and morally devastating drama of guilt and survival, shame and desire Newsweek Vividly imagined, clever, and morally ambiguous... it's a smart and disturbing exploration of the high price of walking away, whether it be from a car accident or from one's own politically unstable homeland NPR's Fresh Air It is a literary achievement for its page-turning exploration of inconvenient empathy and culpability. Gundar-Goshen's description of pain and medicine are tender and startling, but perhaps the novel's greatest strength is the way it considers how we look at each other, the power of our gaze on strangers and on those we love. It's about seeing and being seen, about pride and power. This is a brave novel, socially aware and truly unforgettable Bookpage Immensely suspenseful... alarmingly realistic and superbly written Shelf Awareness This is a profound and moving book, sure to make all of us reassess our view of refugees in our rapidly changing world Winnipeg Free Press Exhilarating... Skillfully translated by Sondra Silverston, Waking Lions is a sophisticated and darkly ambitious novel, revealing an aspect of Israeli life rarely seen in its literature New York Times