World Literature for Equal Dignity: List of Literature


The Heart Goes Last (?), by Margaret Atwood, 2015
" seems as if these women are familiar with Margaret Atwood's observation that what women fear most from men is murder and what men fear most from women is humiliation." Quoted from "It’s the End of the World as She Knows It," by Sloane Crosley, The New York Times, July 23, 2015. See here a discussion of this quote. We thank Linda Hartling for making us aware of this quote.

My Struggle / Min kamp, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
In 2009 Knausgård published My Struggle - First Book, the first volume of a series of six autobiographical novels, which were published in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The six books total over 3500 pages. "The pain of humiliation plays a large role in the autobiographical novels that have recently won a vast audience for the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard. He brings an achingly personal style to his own life story, dealing with his failures in painful detail, examining each of them for what he (and his readers) can learn," "Choking on Humble Pie: On ‘Whiplash’ and a Culture Obsessed with Humiliation," by Robert Fulford, National Post, February 4, 2015. We thank H. Steven Moffic for making us aware of this article.

Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan
In Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan defined "the valley of humiliation,” "Choking on Humble Pie: On ‘Whiplash’ and a Culture Obsessed with Humiliation," by Robert Fulford, National Post, February 4, 2015. We thank H. Steven Moffic for making us aware of this article. The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come; Delivered under the Similitude of a Dream is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan (1628–1688) and published in February, 1678.

E Pluribus Unum: An Anthology of Diverse Voices
Edited by Tamara Oakman, Philadelphia, PA: Light of Unity Press, 2010
Learn about the APIARY Magazine at and see more links to Light of Unity:
- lightofunityassociation
- mad-poets-society-performance-series-2010
- mad-poets-society-benefit-philabundance/
- literature-geeks-light-of-unity-releasing-anthology-of-work/

Shianshenka: The Rise and Fall of the Perfect Creation
by Rowen Sivertsen, Nesoddtangen, Norway: Birch Tree Road Publishing, 2011

The Red Shoes, a Kneehigh Theatre Production
Directed by Emma Rice Based on poetry by Anna Maria Murphy

Empire of Humiliation by James Jens Brusseau
Empire of Humiliation by James Jens Brusseau, Chicago, IL: Overflow, 2009.
Midwest Book Review: Empire of Humiliation is intelligent and rewarding... The novel stands in line with an expertly-written contemporary thriller, [but] what sets it apart are the keen insights into how humiliation, shame and inferiority really work on people, its psychological depth.

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee that opened on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theater on October 13, 1962.
George and Martha arrive home from a party thrown by Martha's father, the president of the university where George is a professor. It is the early hours of Sunday morning. Martha is drunk and loud; George is less drunk and quieter. As they come in Martha quotes a famous line from an old film, and asks George what the name of the film was. When he is unable to answer right away she calls him names, reminds him of details of the film and keeps asking him what it was called. She also asks him to make her a drink, telling him they've got guests coming over. George, in disbelief, asks who the guests are. Martha tells him they're new on staff and that the husband is in the math department, and that the husband is good looking. This makes George pay closer attention and ask why they're having them over. She tells him that her father told her she and George were to be nice to them. George complains that Martha is always springing things on him unexpectedly...

Deception: A Novel by Philip Roth
Synopsis: Exhibiting all his skill as a brilliant observer of human passion, Roth presents in Deception the tightly enclosed world of adulterous intimacy with a directness that has no equal in American fiction. At the center of the novel are Philip and his lover, an Englishwoman compromised by a humiliating marriage, and the conversation that ensues before and after making love.

Someone I Loved by Anna Gavalda
Gavalda's first novel, Je l'aimais (Someone I Loved) was published in France in February 2002 and later that year in English. Inspired by the failure of her own marriage, it too was a major literary success and a bestseller.

Capricornia by Xavier Herbert
Capricornia (1938) is a novel by Xavier Herbert. It provides a fictional account of life in 'Capricornia', a place clearly modelled on Australia's Northern Territory, in the early twentieth century. It was written in London between 1930 and 1932. Capricornia was his first book.

Poor Fellow My Country by Xavier Herbert
Published 1975. At 1463 pages and 850,000 words, it is the longest Australian novel. It is the decisive story of how in those vital years, Australia threw away her chance of becoming a true commonwealth. The dream of Australia Felix, The Happy South Land.

Scènes de la vie de Bohème by Henri Murger
La bohème is an opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de Bohème by Henri Murger. The title, which is French (although the opera is sung in Italian) refers to the bohemian life the characters lead. Mimi, the central female figure, suffers from Tuberculosis and dies. The entrapment of people into poverty, and their attempts to live in dignity despite of humiliating living conditions, is beautifuly and touchingly shown in this piece.

The Role of Literature in Human Rights by Zsuzsanna Lucskay
The Role of Literature in Human Rights: Studying the art of the novel through the texts of Milan Kundera, J.M.Coetzee and Ernesto Sabato, Presentation in Durban South Africa in July 2007

You raise me up: To more than I can be
Lyrics by Brendan Graham, Music by Rolf Lovland.
This song blends elements of Celtic and gospel music. The song was played in Northern Ireland, on the historic day at Stormont, 8th May 2007, when a new power-sharing government was sworn in. The song was played when the MLAs moved into the marbled hall at Stormont to be addressed by Mr Paisley, Mr McGuinness, Mr Blair and Mr Ahern.

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.
... Please read more, for example, at

Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) was an American poet, biographer and dramatist.
Brian Lynch writes (February 23, 2007): "Over time, I have collected material that I use in therapy sessions. About five years ago I picked up Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology (1916), and for about a year did not think much of it. But then picking it up again after a year was amazed at finding what I think is his genius about "shame." As they say the "artist gets there first." He is a fellow Illinoisan who practiced law in the Southwest part of the state and wrote a good deal, but this was the book that endured. Its genius is the artifice of having people "speak from the grave." For me this frees people from shame and humiliation. I believe there are 288 poems in the book. These are a few of my favorites and I often read them in therapy. They illustrate how "private" shame and humiliation are.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit (1954) by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse
"Many consider Wodehouse as second only to Charles Dickens in fecundity of character invention. His characters however were not always popular with the establishment, notably the foppish foolishness of Bertie Wooster. Papers released by the Public Record Office have disclosed that when Wodehouse was recommended for a Companion of Honour in 1967, Sir Patrick Dean, British ambassador in Washington, argued that it "would also give currency to a Bertie Wooster image of the British character which we are doing our best to eradicate"...
This quote is taken from
See also:
Berg, Harald (1970). The master-servant relationship in Wodehouse: A study of the master-servant relationship in P.G. Wodehouse's novels and short stories featuring Bertie Wooster. Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo.

Rabbit Proof Fence
by Doris Pilkington-Garimara

This is a story of the incredible courage that is needed to escape humiliation and gain what Doris Pilkington-Garimara calls the "quiet dignity" that she observed in the women of her mother's age.
"Doris Pilkington-Garimara has a powerful story to tell. She wrote the best-selling book Rabbit Proof Fence, which is now also a major motion picture, telling the true story of her mother, a young aboriginal girl who around 70 years ago made an incredible journey to be re-united with her family. Leading her two younger sisters, she walked 1,500 miles across the rugged outback, escaping police who at that time wanted to keep young aborigines in secure institutions away from their natural families." Quoted from Peschardt's People.

Nicolas Fouquet (1615-1680)
Fouquet's story is the story of a man who turned into a "humiliator" unwittingly, by outshining people who had the power to put him down in retaliation. He has served as inspiration for numerous writers. Fouquet has wrongly been confounded with the "man in the iron mask."
Nicolas Fouquet (1615-1680) ordered the construction of the luxurious castle Vaux-le-Vicomte near Paris, but, instead of leading a life in luxury, he was imprisoned under close surveillance until his death on 23 March, 1680. His brilliance had instigated jealousy, and had turned him into an unwilling humilitor of his peers and superior. In retaliation, he was being utterly humiliated during the rest of his life. Vaux-le-Vicomte inspired the construction of Versailles.
"'Guilty' of not much more than lavish taste and a poor choice of love interests, Minister Fouquet was imprisoned by Louis XIV and arrested by D'Artagnan. It must be said the Fouquet was probably not much more in extreme of wealth than some of his contemporaries, but he made the foolish mistake of not 'muting a bit' in the presence of Louis XIV - which was unfortunately taken as an insult. Secondly, Nicolas also chose to court Louise de Valliere, the King's own mistress. Fouquet's naive ignorance (or his incredible arrogance, as some might tell it) would be his end. In this respect - book fact and fiction resemble each other."
Quoted from The 'Characters' of the Musketeers Epic.

Child of the Nightingale by Shanti Kumar (2006)
A tale of overcoming humiliation from India.

Seven Storey Mountain by Merton Thomas (1948)
"... the pattern and prototype of all sin: the deliberate and formal will to reject disinterested love for us for the purely arbitrary reason that we simply do not want it. We will to separate ourselves from that love. We reject it entirely and absolutely, and will not acknowledge it, simply because it does not please us to be loved. Perhaps the inner motive is that the fact of being loved disinterestedly reminds us that we all need love from others, and depend upon the charity of others to carry on our own lives. And we refuse love and reject society, is so far as it seems, in our own perverse imagination, to imply some obscure kind of humiliation" (pp. 23-24).

Margery Klempe (ca. 1373 - after 1438)
Part of Margery Kempe's significance lies in the autobiographical nature of her book: it is the best insight available that points to a female, middle class experience in the Middle Ages... Kempe and her "Book" are also significant because they record the tension in late medieval England between institutional orthodoxy and increasingly public modes of religious dissent, especially those of the Lollards. Throughout her spiritual career, Kempe's adherence to the teachings of the institutional Church is challenged by both church and civil authorities, most notedly the Bishop of Lincoln and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel, who acted rigorously against heresy, enacting laws that forbade the translation of the Bible into English, teaching laypersons to read scripture, and allowing women to preach.
This quote is taken from

Les Bienveillantes by Jonathan Littell
US author wins top French prize
US author Jonathan Littell, 39, has won France's Goncourt literary prize for his controversial novel about the life of a fictional SS officer.
Written in French, Les Bienveillantes is currently the number one bestseller in France, where Littell grew up.
The book is a first-person fictional account of an unrepentant SS officer as he recalls the extermination of the Jews in World War II.
It has been criticised in some quarters for being inaccurate.
"What interested me was to understand what led people to become torturers," Littell, who now lives in Spain, told Agence France Presse.
Please read the entire article at

The Face of Jizo, Hisashi Inoue's (translated by Roger Pulvers)
The story takes place in Hiroshima, three years after the devastating World War II bombing attack. Twenty-three year old Mitsue, who has survived the attack, is visited by the spirit of her dead father, Takezo, who expresses support for her recent romance. Mistue, overwhelmed by the guilt of having survived the bomb, tries to suppress her feelings, but Takezo tries to convince Mitsue that she deserves a happy life. This play, filled with tears and laughter, has been successfully produced for many years in Japan and several other countries, including Hong Kong, Russia and France, by Komatsu-za, Inoue's theatre group. The English script, translated by Roger Pulvers, will be read by Vancouver's own Manami Hara and Hiro Kanagawa. The reading will be followed by the moving testimony of a survivor of Hiroshima's A-bomb.

Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy (favorite play in kabuki and bunraku puppet theatre)
Bunraku, or Japanese puppet theatre, is probably the most developed form of puppetry in the world and recognised by UNESCO.
Evelin Lindner saw Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy on 20th April 2006 at the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka (please read the story here and about bunraku in general here and see pictures here).
Honor, loyalty, and humiliation are central themes, and redemption is sought through ritual suicide and sacrifice of one's own children. The bunraku narrators convey emotions in ways that are unparalleled and profoundly educational from the point of view of psychological inquiry: "evil laugh," deep sorrow and despair are performed in intensely touching ways. Please read more reflections here: Lindner, Evelin (2006). "Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy": Exposing the Wounds Inflicted by Ranking People in Higher and Lesser Beings, reflections after seeing Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy on 20th April 2006 at the National Bunraku Theatre in Osaka. Please see here the Japanese translation of these reflections.

The King of Fairy Tales by Zheng Yuanjie
Zheng Yuanjie (born 1955) is the founder and sole writer of a children's magazine known as the "King of Fairy Tales." The first issue was published in 1984. His characters (including PiPilu, LuXixi, Shuke, Beita and Luoke) are registered trademarks. Zheng Yuanjie is critical of conventional methods of education, claiming that "college education tends to make simple things complicated and hard to understand." He chose to home-school his son rather than send him to middle school. Zheng Yuanjie currently lives in Beijing (this paragraph is quoted from /wiki/Beijing,
Please see furthermore here an article entitled Zheng Yuanjie's 19 years in fairy tales:
"Although it's 19 years since Zheng Yuanjie wrote his first fairy tale, his fictional characters have not aged at all and Zheng is still hard at work and since he started writing, tens of millions of Chinese have grown up reading his stories about the naughty but kind-hearted boy Pipi Lu and his little sister Lu Xixi.
Zheng Yuanjie dropped out of the primary school after four years and joined the army at 15. As a child the writer describes himself as a troublemaker. Once he brought a sparrow onto a military plane which promptly disappeared, causing a great fuss. The plane was later disassembled to locate the sparrow and of course Zheng was harshly criticized for the mischief.
Five years later the soldier quit the army and went to work in a factory to watch over water pumps. Several years later when he heard that publishing houses were paying good money for new works, he began mailing his poems to publishers all over the country. After countless failures, he finally had one poem published in Fenshui, a magazine in Shanxi Province. This encouraged him to continue to write until he became an editor for a Beijing based magazine.
By 1984, Zheng Yuanjie's works had appeared in more than newspapers and magazines. When the writer was refused a pay rise he began thinking about setting up a new magazine devoted to his work. The magazine eventually became the 'King of Fairy Tales' and the first issue came out in 1984 with Zheng Yuanjie as the only writer. When it was published it was the only magazine in China with only one writer!
The magazine for children which Zheng Yuanjie founded has been publishing for 19 years. At its peak, it had a monthly circulation of over 1 million copies. Through the magazine children in China got to know Pipi Lu, Lu Xixi, Shuke the Mouse and Rock the Wolf and Zheng's tales continue to attract millions of adults as well as children..."
Please read the entire text at

Patrick White
Patrick White is a social critic mainly through his depiction of human beings, as befits a true novelist. He is first and foremost a bold psychological explorer, at the same time as he readily refers to ideological views of life or mystical convictions to elicit the support and the uplifting message which they have to offer. His relationship to himself, like his relationship to his fellow beings, is complex and full of contradictions. Exalted demands are thrown into sharp relief against emphatic denials. Passion and longing are confronted by a distinct puritanism. In contradistinction to what may be pride in himself he glorifies humility and humiliation, a persistent feeling of guilt that demands atonement and sacrifice. He is constantly assailed by doubts concerning the capacity of thought and art, even though he is indefatigable in his high-minded pursuit of both these things. (This paragraph is quoted from the presentation speech by Artur Lundkvist, of the Swedish Academy, in connection with the Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to the Australian Patrick White in 1973.)

Amin Maalouf
Amin Maalouf is considered one of Lebanon’s most distinguished authors. His books, including The Rock of Tanios and Leo the African, have won him a crop of international literary prizes. Ever since Lebanon’s civil war in the mid-1970s, he has lived in self-imposed exile in Paris. Though he has built his literary reputation writing in French, his historical novels return again and again to the themes of Arab religious and national identity in the Middle East. He tells Gavin Esler why he thinks the politics of identity, as opposed to ideology, will define the conflicts of the 21st Century. (This description is taken from the BBC World web site.)

Lemkin's House, by Catherine Filloux, directed by Jean Randich
LEMKIN'S HOUSE ­ a thought-provoking drama about the horrors of genocide ­ written by Catherine Filloux will be given its US premiere with previews beginning on February 3rd prior to its official press opening of February 9th at the 78th Street Theatre Lab (236 West 78th Street).
LEMKIN'S HOUSE is set in the afterlife of Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-American lawyer whose family died in the Holocaust and who invented the word genocide.   He dedicated his life to fighting to have genocide declared an international crime.   Lemkin is bombarded by people bursting into his home with complaints of more recent genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia. Lemkin must recognize that even his law is not enough to change the world. He weighs his ethical accomplishments against his guilt for deserting his own doomed family ultimately seeking not only justice but also forgiveness. In LEMKIN'S HOUSE, it's the dead who are haunted by the living.

78th Street Theatre Lab was established in 1978 to provide artists with a supportive workplace to create and develop unique, thought-provoking theatre. Under Artistic Director Eric Nightengale and General Manager Ruth Nightengale, previous works of the 78th Street Theatre Lab include the highly successful THE CHINESE ART OF PLACEMENT, INSIDE A BIGGER BOX, THIN WALLS, and the acclaimed Dawn Powell festival PERMANENT VISITOR. Last year's season included Trish Harnetiaux's acclaimed STRAIGHT ON OTIL MORNING and Paul Allman's KENNETH ­ WHAT IS THE FREQUENCY?.  Scheduled February 3 through February 26, performances of LEMKIN'S HOUSE run Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm, with an added performance on Wednesday, February 22 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444 or online at .

The Beauty Inside, A Play in Two Acts, By Catherine Filloux
Brutal and poetic, this searing drama follows a promising young attorney who passes up a lucrative offer at a big American law firm to defend the survivor of an attempted honor killing in her native Turkey. Challenging barbaric traditions and a corrupt legal system, she embarks on a life-changing journey of social activism and self-discovery, while developing an extraordinary bond with her visionary client.

2005 Season, New Georges, NYC (Co-produced with InterAct Theatre Co., Philadelphia, PA)
ALSO: 2004 Fulbright Senior Specialist; Higher Institute of Drama & Cultural Animation, Rabat, Morocco; THE BEAUTY INSIDE was translated into Arabic for a three-week workshop; Directed by Messaoud Bouhcine; Director of ISADAC: Dr. Ahmed Massaia; Play translated by Jawad Wadi.

Catherine Filloux's recent plays include: THE BEAUTY INSIDE; EYES OF THE HEART; SILENCE OF GOD; MARY AND MYRA; ARTHUR¹S WAR; PHOTOGRAPHS FROM S-21; ESCUELA DEL MUNDO. Filloux's other plays have been produced in New York and around the U.S. Opera libretto: THE FLOATING BOX: A Story in Chinatown; (Composer Jason Kao Hwang; selected as a Critics Choice "favorite full-length opera recording of the year" by Opera News, 2005; CD New World Records 2005); Commission from Cambodian Living Arts for opera libretto WHERE ELEPHANTS WEEP with Cambodian composer Him Sophy (2006).  Awards: The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays' Roger L. Stevens award, Eric Kocher Playwrights Award (National Playwrights Conference, O'Neill Theater Center); Callaway Award (New Dramatists), Fulbright Senior Specialist (Cambodia & Morocco).

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
This classical literature (and film) plays out a tale of humiliation and shows to which dark results it may lead. The entire book manuscript can be found on Bibliomania; read here the introduction:
Perhaps the most enduring and affecting of the Brontë sisters' work is Wuthering Heights. Emily Brontë's tale of heartbreak and mystery still resonates on an emotional level with its theme of doomed romance. It was written between October 1845 and June 1846, appearing in print finally in December 1847. Emily's sister Charlotte spoke of the "horror of great darkness" surrounding the novel in her memoirs and it only received recognition after Emily's death from consumption in 1848. Much of the first half of the novel concerns the passionate and illicit relationship between Catherine Earnshaw and Mr Heathcliff as narrated by a number of individuals: primarily by Mr Lockwood and Nelly Dean, the housekeeper of Thrushcross Grange. There is intrigue concerning Heathcliff who has taken over the Grange and keeps a clumsy boy called Hareton Earnshaw. We learn of how his morose and stern attitude began and the cruel twists of fate which have torn two families apart. The death of Catherine and the true intentions of the novel's various mysterious characters have been the source of much speculation and even now Wuthering Heights remains genuinely harrowing and cathartic.

Lady Joker by Kaoru Takamura
The Japanese author Kaoru Takamura is one of the best female writers of fiction. Her work in the first half of 1990s presented male protagonists who were social misfits and committed serious crimes. Later, she created a police series with a lieutenant, Yuichirou Gouda, as the leading character. Lady Joker (1998) is part of this series. It is a crime novel that is based on a true story that is connected to a problem in Japanese society that is widely unkown (and, still today, an in many ways not-to-be-talked-about taboo). The president of a big company was kidnapped and his company was threatened. This kidnapping had its roots in the social discrimination (and resulting feelings of humiliation and urge for retribution), which were being experienced (and still are, to a certain extent, being experienced today) by the buraku segment of Japanese society (see Equal Dignity and Purity for All and Ohta Kyoji, Chief Curator of the Human Rights Museum in Osaka, Japan, in a personal conversation with Lindner, 7th February 2005).

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
In stark and moving detail, John Steinbeck depicts the lives of ordinary people striving to preserve their humanity in the face of social and economic desperation. When the Joads lose their tenant farm in Oklahoma, they join thousands of others, traveling the narrow concrete highways toward California and the dream of a piece of land to call their own. Each night on the road, they and their fellow migrants recreate society: leaders are chosen, unspoken codes of privacy and generosity evolve, and lust, violence, and murderous rage erupt.
A portrait of the bitter conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of a woman's quiet, stoical strength, The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature, one that captures the horrors of the Great Depression as it probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America.

Poems by Wislawa Szymborska
1996 Polish Nobel Literary Laureate and poetess, Wislawa Szymborska

Work done by Ada Aharoni
Dr. Ada Aharoni, writer, poet, playwright and lecturer, was born in Cairo, Egypt, and now lives in Haifa, Israel. She has published 25 books to date, that have won her international acclaim. She writes in English and Hebrew, and her works have been translated into several languages. Believing in the power of the word, she is confident that literature and culture can help to heal the urgent ailments of Israel and our global village, such as war, terror and conflict. The themes of love, reconciliation, coexistence and peace, as well as equality of women, are major ones throughout her various works.
Among her major works are: the historical novel, The Second Exodus (1983), that describes in literary form the forced exile of the Jews from Egypt in the twentieth century, which she and her family were part of. Her second book: Memoirs from Alexandria, (1985), relates the story of of the Jewish Hospital in Alexandria, and the heroic deeds of its Head Nurse, Thea Wolf, who saved hundreds of Jews from the Nazi Holocaust, through the Hospital, together with the help of Egyptian officials. Aharoni's acclaimed historical novel From The Nile to The Jordan, was first published in 1994; it was translated into several languages, and was awarded the "Haifa and Bremen Award" and the "Merit Prize" in New York. In 1996 she published The Peace Flower, a moving quest for hope and world peace, for young and old. Her latest books: Not In Vain: An Extraordinary Life (Ladybug Press, CA.. 1999), a larger edition of Memoirs from Alexandria, and her important and timely Women Creating A World Beyond War and Violence (2002), contain both prose and poetry. Four of her books have been recently published as E-Books as well as CD's (Rowe Publishing, England). Her poetry collection: "A Green Week" has been put to music, and is sung by major Israeli and American singers, it has been released as a CD, which together with Aharoni's books, can be ordered through the following website: in conjunction with
Among Aharoni's published books are: novels, biographies, and poetry collections, such as From The Pyramids to Mount Carmel, in English, French, Hebrew, Arabic and Chinese. A Bilingual collection of her "Selected Poems," in English and Chinese, has been published in Hong Kong (The Milky Way Publishing Company, 2002). In addition, her poems have also been translated and published in journals in several other languages, including: Swedish, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Japanese, Korean, German, Gujarati, and Bengali. She has published two books of translations of the Israeli poet: Shin Shalom, and other major classical Israeli poets, including: Rachel, Leah Goldberg, Yehuda Amichai, and Amir Gilboa. Her latest two collections of poetry: You and I Can Change The World (2000), and The Pomegranate (2002), hail the new millennium as one in which, according to her: "A world beyond war can indeed be created, if humankind begin to listen to writers and poets for a change."
Aharoni is the Editor-in-Chief of the Anthology: A Song to Life and to World Peace (2003), which is widely used as a Textbook in Univerisites and colleges, as well as of the Anthology: Waves of Peace (1997), dedicated to the memory of Yitzhak Rabin. She is also the founder and editor of the Literary Magazine Galim: Waves (1987- 2004), and the online journal Horizon: Pave Peace. She is the founder and editor of Lirit: Poetry Israel, the online magazine of the Hebrew Writers Association, featuring major Israeli poets in English translation. She is as well an Editor for the UNESCO EOLSS Encyclopedia (2004 - 2005), and is in charge of the section on: Non Violence, Peace Building, Peace Culture, and Peace through Literature. Her important and innovative research entitled: "A New Peace Culture Required for Sustainable Global Development," was published in the UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: "OUR FRAGILE WORLD: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development" (2001 EOLSS Publishers Co. Ltd., pp. 917 - 934).
She is the Vice President of the Hebrew Writers Asscociation in Israel, and the Head of its Foreign Relations committee. She initiated, organized and presided at its important Conference in Tel Aviv, on "Bridges of Understanding through Literature," which was attended by both Jewish and Arab writers (on September 6, 2004).
Aharoni is the founder and international president of IFLAC: PAVE PEACE, the International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (established in 1999 - website: She chaired its founding congress "The International Congress on Conflict Resolution through Culture and Literature," in the Galilee (June 1999), the second one, in Sydney Australia (2001), and the third one in London, England (2002). The latest IFLAC Conference was in Bursa, Turkey, from 9-11 October, 2003. It was opened by the Minister of Culture of Turkey, and the Minister of Religion. The Iflac conferences brought together researchers, writers, poets, media, educationalists and diplomats, from twenty five countries, many from conflicted areas, like Israel and Palestine, India and Pakistan, Turkey and Greece - for the bridging of cultural bridges of understanding and respect and the paving of peace between people and nations.
Aharoni is also President of the World Congress of Poets XIII (Haifa, Israel, 1992), and convener of the PCC "Pave Peace Through Culture and Communications" commission of IPRA: the International Peace Research Association (1996-2005). She was co-founder of The Bridge: Jewish and Arab Women for Peace in the Middle East (1977 - 1999), in 1999, The Bridge, joined IFLAC, and it now functions as its women's wing.
Her latest project is the founding and organizing of the FIRST WORLD CONGRESS OF JEWS FROM EGYPT, together with a group of researchers and writers on the Jews from Egypt in the twentieth century. The Congress will take place in Haifa, from May 9 to 12, 2006.
Aharoni has been awarded several international prizes and awards, among them are: The British Council Award, the Keren Amos President Award, the Haifa and Bremen Prize, The World Academy of Arts and Culture Award, the Korean Gold Crown of World Poets Award, the Rachel Prize, and the Merit Award of the HSJE: The Historical Society of the Jews from Egypt, for her "devoted and unmatched efforts in researching the history and culture of the Jews from Egypt, and to promote visionary literature and poetry proclaiming peace in the world." In 1998, she was elected one of the hundred "World Heroines," in Rochester, New York, for her "outstanding literary works for the promotion of women and peace."
Ada Aharoni lives on beautiful Mount Carmel in Haifa, where she has dedicated her life to the creation of a peaceful Israel and Middle East and a better world beyond war, through her writings and her wide activities, and the promotion of bridges of multi-culture, peace and understanding.

On 17.02.2005, Ada Aharoni wrote:
Dear Evelin,  
I was invited to lecture on my books at the "Israeli Academic Center in Cairo." It was a wonderful meeting of researchers, academics and writers, and I enjoyed their participation and their brilliant questions.  
I had the great pleasure at this Conference, to meet Prof. Mohamed Fawzi Deif, Head of the Arabic Dept. at the Cairo University, who wrote a 200 page book at the Cairo Nile Publishing House, in Arabic (with the original poems in Hebrew), on:"The Significance of Peace in the Poetry of Ada Aharoni" -  "Mafhoum El Salam fi sheer Ada Aharoni." (Do you understand Arabic?)  I loved his expert translations of my poems to Arabic, and his in-depth analysis of what Peace means to me, as expressed in my works.  
I had never met Deif before, and I was amazed that he had decided to
write his Ph.D on my works. His intelligent questions and brilliant
understanding kept us awake till the small hours of the morning, after my lecture!
I hope it will be possible to publish his book in English someday.  
With much love and global hugging,

Mohamed Fawzi Deif, War and Peace in Israeli Literature: The Significance of Peace in the Poetry of Ada Aharoni, The Nile Publications, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, 1996, 200 pages.
Mohamed Fawzi Deif and Ada Aharoni, Peace Poems: A Hebrew - Arabic Bilingual Edition, Preface and translations from Hebrew and English to Arabic, by Professor Mohamed Fawzi Deif, Lahman, Haifa, 1997.

Evelin's reaction:

Prof. Mohamed Fawzi Deif's contribution demonstrates more than anything the success of your bridgebuilding! He shows, how your work has succeeded in touching hearts and minds on what is supposed to be the "other side"!

Peace Flower by Ada Aharoni
A story that will delight all, from the age of ten to a hundred and ten. It is an imaginative tale of fantastic adventures in space, to find the Peace Flower in the Future and bring it back to earth as it does not yet exist in our Present. Lee and Roni two brave children face the terrible nuclear giant Nuki, who tries to stop them from bringing peace to the earth. Through their courage and love for each other, they finally triumph. This original and hopeful book has been adopted by schools and colleges all over the world. English, Hebrew, and Arabic.

Women Creating a World Beyond War and Violence by Ada Aharoni
A powerful eye-opener as to women's power to abolish war and terror. At a time when the world is still caught up in the clutches of war, terror and violence, humankind should now "listen to women for a change." If the women of the world succeed to unite, they can powerfully throw the demonic belief that "wars and terror can solve conflicts," into the anachronistic dustbin of history where its belongs, and they will be able to gain their right to live and raise their children in peace in a world beyond war.

Not in Vain: An Extraordinary Life by Ada Aharoni
This book relates the remarkable story of Sister Thea Wolf, a German Jewish Nurse who came to work in the Jewish hospital in Alexandria, Egypt before the outbreak of World War 2. This not only saved her life but also thrust her a leading role of helping Jewish refugees who came to or through Egypt in their attempt to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

From the Nile to the Jordan by Ada Aharoni
This is a compelling and colorful historical novel, which captures in detail the spirit, excitement and intrigue of mid-20th century Egypt and Israel. At the core of this stormy saga is Inbar Etty, the beautiful and talented daughter of respected judge Mosseri, member of Cairo's Jewish community. When the storm of tragic events in the Middle East in 1948 threatens to destroy her future and that of her lover, the Holocaust survivor Raoul Lipsky, she sets out in a passionate quest for roots, love, fulfilment, creativity, and a new home.

You and I Can Change the World by Ada Aharoni
"These fine and moving poems shine with deep and challenging truths about life, relations between women and men, and above all, Ada Aharoni instills a vivid hope and vision of a Middle East and a world beyond war. Ada shrinks from no emotional, ethical or moral complexity. She is a marvellous poet!" (Prof. Fawzi Deif, Cairo University)

Poems by Ada Aharoni

Cosmic Woman

They tell us
you were first born
in warm ocean womb
caressed by sun fingers -
daughter perhaps
of the stormy love
of two unruly atoms in love
maddened by the solitude
of eternal rounds
in the steppes of times

And your children,
lively descendants
of their stellar nucleus mother
dropped from the sky
in depths of ocean belly,
born of green and brown seaweed
and the laughs and cries
of a blue bacteria

Cosmic woman,
when you chose earth
as home for your vast roots
at the beginning
of the great human family,
it was for life --
not for death.
Cosmic woman,
you, who were born of the nucleus,
from deadly nuclear mushroom
Save your children

Peace Is A Woman and a Mother

How do you know
peace is a woman?
I know, for
I met her yesterday
on my winding way
to the world's fare.
She had such a sorrowful face
just like a golden flower faded
before her prime.

I asked her why
she was so sad?
She told me her baby
was killed in Auschwitz,
her daughter in Hiroshima
and her sons in Vietnam,
Ireland, Israel, Lebanon,
Bosnia, Rwanda and Chechnya.

All the rest of her children, she said,
are on the nuclear
black-list of the dead,
all the rest, unless
the whole world understands --
that peace is a woman

A thousand candles then lit
in her starry eyes, and I saw --
Peace is indeed a pregnant woman,
Peace is a mother.

Fred er en kvinne og en mor
Innsendt 17.12.2004 22:19 av Lars Chr. Sande
Dear Ms. Suter:
I have read about your wishes, and upon your request I have translated PEACE IS A WOMAN AND A MOTHER by Ada Aharoni into Norwegian language.
With my best wishes for the High Season - And a most Peaceful New Year.
Sincerely yours,
Lars Chr. Sande, Author

Fred er en kvinne og en mor

Hvordan kan du vite
At freden er en kvinne?
Jeg vet for visst,
Fordi jeg møtte henne i går
På min krokede vei
Til verdens markedsplass.
Hun hadde et slikt sørgmodig ansikt
Lik en gylden famlet blomst
Før den visner

Jeg spurte henne hvorfor
Hun var så trist?
Hun fortalte at hennes barn
Var drept i Auschwitz,
Hennes datter i Hiroshima,
Og hennes sønner i Vietnam,
Irland, Israel, Palestina, Libanon,
Pakistan og India,
Bosnia, Rwanda og Tsjetsjenia

Alle de andre av hennes barn, fortalte hun
Sto på den kjernefysiske drapsliste
Med mindre hele verden forstår --
At freden er en kvinne.
Tusen lys vil da skinne
I hennes funklende øyne, og da så jeg -
Freden er i høyeste grad en gravid kvinne,
Freden er en mor.
Av Ada Aharoni Creative Commona Gjendiktet til norsk av Lars Chr. Sande, 17.12.2004

You Cannot Bomb Me Anymore

Listen, little big man,
you cannot bomb me
because I don't allow you
to bomb me, nor choke
nor rape me anymore,
for I have my own strength now
and my own creative
peace business now

With this woman's mind
this woman's body
this woman's heart -
we don't allow you
to bomb us anymore
for our sisters in Norway
have shown us the way
and now -
you cannot, cannot, bomb us

For it was
the grandmother
who ate the big bad wolf
and not the other way round --

so now
we do not allow you
to bomb us, bomb us,

Eve's Defence

You didn't have to accept
That shiny juicy apple
Did you Adam dear?

Please remove those
Musty fig leaves
From your memory and ears
And remember Adam dear,
You were created
From mere earth,
Whereas I was sculpted
From a much finer substance
Finer than ivory
Finer than gold

In the rush of your
Heart's blood
In the throbbing of your temples
Remember Adam dear -
I was created
From pure human bone

Your strong rib-bone
Became me - Eve
Mother of Life

Always remember
Dearest Adam
Free, independent Eve
Is - You.
*The Chinese translation of this poem won an award. It was published in the bilingual Chinese-English volume “Chosen Poems By Ada Aharoni” (Hong Kong, Milkway Publications, 2003)

I Want to Kill You War

I want to kill you war, forever,
not like a phoenix, that always comes back
I want to kill you war
and I don't know how
and I don't know why
all the people of the world
don't join hands
to kill you war --
you the greatest killer
of them all

The governors of the world
Go on feeding your fat belly
With fresh soldiers
And nuclear arms,
With blurring eyes
They only know how to hang
The murderers of the one or the two
But not you,
You the greatest murderer of them all.

After the carnage the priest said
"we are all responsible."
After the carnage the Sheikh said
"we all remain brothers."
After the carnage the Rabbi said
"we can stop it if we choose."
The priest and the sheikh and the Rabbi
Raise up their hands and look up to the sky

The peace marchers
Take hold of the slab of marble
On which is inscribed "we want to live not die"
And carry it away under the whizzing bullets
Like a corpse, still warm, still alive.

A Green Week

A week like fresh mint,
a green week spreading
its fragrance to the roots
of being

"Have a green week!"
My father used to bless us
on Saturday nights in Cairo,
when he came back from the "Gates of Heaven"
the grand synagogue in Adli street

"Have a green year"
he beamed,
brandishing a fresh, fragrant mint branch
over our keen curly heads -
but don't keep just to yourselves,
give it back
to the world
fully blossoming.

Who will give me
a green week
now that he's gone?
Now that the Gates of Heaven
are shut?

Only peace,
Only a fragrant mint peace.

Myopic Scientist

With green, curious eyes like legend woods
before burning, sweeping like sky rockets,
you were created for exploring and building,
for love and science and joy
on peaceful green earth -
not for providing means
for destroying our lives, our children, our hopes,
with nuclear bombs and radiation

Dear scientist, don't let the war mongers
steal your research, your unaware souls,
your creation, your bubbling myopic brains.
All our voices radiate in fear
all our violins sing the impending requiem
brewed in your stupendous high-tech labs.
Dear scientist, let our wings flap freely
in fresh, clean breeze in the spring and in the fall
before we all fall into the hellish slumber
of a nuclear winter, from which there is no return.
Dear scientist, don't allow the war mongers
to gobble up your inventions to fatten their stomachs
for star wars and earth wars
or for any, any pitiful war.

Mothers You Know
"We can best help you to prevent war not by repeating your words and
following your methods, but by finding new words and creating new methods."
Virginia Woolf - Three Guineas

Mothers you know, a long time ago
have been wisely decreed
by diverse human creeds and needs -
goddesses of peace-in-the-home,
lavishly giving life, love and healing
through their wombs and life-blood

And they have been quite successful
those cosy peace-in-the-home mothers,
closely guarding us with their wisdom
their tender words and watchful eyes.
Surely safer than in a Nuclear War
or in a new World War, or just a tiny war -
so what about making mothers
the guardians of peace on earth?
Surely we wouldn't be so much worse?
And they are so available those mothers -
you can even find them in enemy land...

Look at the terrible mess they have
made of our blue planet, mother,
you are the only one who can save it now,
the only one who really knows
how to protect your fearful children
weeping over their drugged ailing world,
the only one who can heal it now, mother
cradling it in your warm, loving arms.


You knew Rousseau's "Emile"
Instinctively by heart,
Let us roam barefoot
In golden fields of home,
Sleep with open windows wide

Gave us all you had
With full two hands
Of bedstead copper angels,
Sometimes you forgot to eat
But never to feed us.
Whatever we did or said
Was a diamond mine -
Your children were your little gods.

Even when I left you and France
For a country I loved,
You were not hurt nor angry,
Gave your daughter to the kibbutz
With a smile followed by a tear.

Today we worship you in return,
Like a queen emerging
From Paris metro's belly,
To Bat-Galim shore,
As in Alexandria of yore,
Mother, mamica,
Standing smiling on a shell
Crowned by love

Teddy Bears for Guns

My man of the year
Is the wonderful, wise one
Who sat himself in the midst
Of the West with a huge box
Of chubby Teddy Bears
On New Year's Day,
Attracting an endless
Queue of cheering kids -
Holding guns

He playfully showed
With a smile and a wink
And a Teddy Bear hug -
It could be the beginning
Of a honey-laden decade
In a brave new world

By wisely, joyfully trading
For Teddy Bears.

Mimosa Equality

I wait for the day
Blossoming as a mimosa
When half the world's presidents
Will be women
With caring arms
Enlacing every cry
And the sun will shine
On all mortals
with equal golden rays
in every green field,
every printed book
every human look.


To leave you now
Would be an amputation -
I would survive
But there would be
Of me

The More Interesting Life

Come closer sisters
hear the man
and what he sang about us

At twelve, a sharp bayonet fear
jabbing through my ribs
tickled my mind:
You are a male,
you will have to go to war,
you may be killed.
Shrieking shells
and giant mushrooms flying
filled my blazing nightfalls.

I looked at the lively girls, envy nibbling,
they will not go to war,
they will not be killed.

But suddenly a flash -
a vision of kitchen sinks
drying of dishes with feminine hair,
a life of soiled diapers . . .

The gun externalized,
I held it with firm fist
and nodded reassured -
But I shall have
the more interesting life.

That's it sisters, that's what he sang,
what he sang about us,
What do we do now with what he sang,
What he sang about us?

Grandmother and the Wolf
Dedicated to Ebba Haslund
my sister from Norway

She looked at me with wise
bluebell eyes
and told me the brothers Grimm
had it all wrong,
they had it all wrong, you see,
for it was the grandmother
who gobbled up the big bad wolf
and not the other way round.

They had it all wrong,
they were too grim,
those brothers Grimm

They had it all wrong,
for grandmothers you see
are very strong.

A Jewish Woman's Prayer

Bless you Oh Lord
For having made me a woman,
For if you had made me a man
I would have had to pray -
"Bless you Oh Lord for not having
made me a woman."

If a White Horse from Jerusalem

If a white horse from Jerusalem,
bearing a message from the land of peace
strides so valiantly in the early dawn hours
of my Haifa street,
as if it were the ocean
as if it were the sky -
then all is possible…

Perhaps, he has come
with a magic wand
to make all chains vanish,
and to make you fly with me

Perhaps, before my hair falls
Before my teeth clatter,
before my breath whistles
and I suffocate in nuclear fumes

Perhaps, he will lift us
on his white wings
and raise the world
to year 2000 beyond wars…

For if a white horse
from the city of global peace,
strides so valiantly
in my own street - as if it were the ocean,
as if were the sky
Then all is possible...