The People of Forever Are Not Afraid

A Novel

Publisher: Anchor Canada

A breathtaking debut novel about young women in the Israeli Defense Forces, from a rising star in fiction.

Shani Boianjiu's riveting debut is a revelation--the story of three girls who grow up in a small Israeli village and join the Israeli Defense Forces at eighteen, where they experience a typical coming of age at the same time as preparing for the ever-present threat of war. Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys. Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences. Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view. They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come. They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts.

In a relentlessly energetic voice marked by acid humor and fierce intelligence, Boianjiu creates a heightened reality that recalls our most celebrated chroniclers of war and the military, while capturing that unique time in a young woman's life when a single moment can change everything.


"Intelligent, disconcerting and powerful. . . . Boianjiu tells it like it is, and in the telling conveys the emotional toll taken on young lives when they are raised in a nascent country where politics, cultures, faiths and histories clash, and borders are always just a stone's throw away."
—Winnipeg Free Press