Jane Bi­ran gets per­sonal in her first novel — and she’s very ner­vous

The Jewish Chronicle - - People -

ZION­IST, AC­TIVIST AND writer Jane Bi­ran can now add nov­el­ist to her list of tal­ents with the pub­li­ca­tion of her first book, Sophia’s Ver­sion (Strate­gic Book Pub­lish­ing, £14.50).

Writ­ten in mem­ory of her brother, who died in 2007, the novel is cen­tred on five sib­lings from a Jewish fam­ily — but Ms Bi­ran, 72, in­sists that it is not based on her own ex­pe­ri­ences. She tells Peo­ple: “It’s not au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal. It is a fic­tional au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. Sophia isn’t me but there are bits of me in Sophia.”

The story be­gins with a mother’s fu­neral and delves into the his­tory of the fam­ily and their com­plex re­la­tion­ships. “I’m a com­pul­sive writer,” she says. “I’ve writ­ten pol­i­tics, opin­ions, com­ment but never any­thing per­sonal, and that’s why I’m ner­vous. I’ve never been more ner­vous than I am about this book.” Born in the UK, Ms Bi­ran now lives in Is­rael with her sec­ond hus­band, Yoav, the for­mer Is­raeli am­bas­sador.

She says: “When I made aliyah I did a lot of fly­ing and had to do some­thing on the plane. I started to write.” She has al­ready writ­ten an­other two nov­els but says she is await­ing the re­sponse from this one be­fore be­com­ing a se­rial nov­el­ist.

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