A Hat of Glass examines the influence of the Holocaust on the Israeli adult children of survivors. The book helped to open a dialogue between survivors and their adult children, who had never before been able to discuss the past.
Forward, New York, September 1990

Semel has the soul of an artist. In rare alchemy she broke her protected shell and took out fragments of sentences, strange words, fragments of memories and fading pictures... Private Holocaust does exist. It is a spiritual reality one cannot escape. It forced itself upon Nava Semel. She felt she had to sail into the deep core of her soul... Her writing is rare among Israel's younger generation of writers. Not only the subjects she chooses, but also her richness of thought and profundity of emotion... Her Hebrew is rich... Strong images burst out like a fountain... First class writing.
Zvi Herman, Judges Committee, Massuah -the Institute for Holocaust Studies Award, October 1988

An exciting and moving book. Semel tells about us and about herself. These are the stories of the second generation. Restless people, always on the move, as if running away from something... People who see on their tanned arm an echo of the blue numbered tattoo, and feel the chilling touch of the glass hanging over their heads.
Ma'ariv, Israel, May 1985

This introverted prose resembles the Jewish-American writing of Bernard Malamud and others, but the Israeli experience is so different from the world of young people in the Bronx or Brooklyn. Semel's style is sharp and piercing. Her descriptions are direct and candid... A Hat of Glass doesn't scream, but whispers in silent sadness the private Holocaust... This is a truthful mirror of ourselves, tragic and bitter.
Kol Haifa, April 1985

Highly recommended. I've read the book from the beginning to the end breathlessly. It's fascinating... I read it with sorrow, yet enjoyed it. Hurry and read it.
Kolbo, Haifa Paper, March 1985

This is one of those books that make you read it again and again, and then share the treasure with others.
Olam Haisha, Women's Magazine, November 1985

Identifying so deeply with the survivors, sometimes you feel this is a first hand testimony. Yet, it is fully in control, very powerful. An artistic expression of the most horrible of human experiences... A new young generation starts to raise its voice in Jewish history. The Holocaust will never be forgotten. It sinks deep in the soul and becomes a source of inner strength. It is transformed into a powerful expression of the Jewish and human.
Ha'doar, USA, Summer 1985

This is the story of the second generation. A generation that supposedly grew up in a world whose wounds are healed. But sons and daughters still carry something of their parents' scars. Their maturity hurts. They are already parents themselves. Will they be able to convince their parents to talk? Will they be able to understand their painful childhood?
Kolbo, Haifa Paper, Israel, March 1985

The stories in A Hat of Glass move the reader deeply. They succeed in strongly conveying the sense of fear, uncertainty and horror of people who were prisoners in concentration camps. Before David Grossman, Semel wrote about Berlin, although at that time she had never visited the place. She wrote about a women selling her body in Auschwitz, as if she was there herself.
Hadashot, Israel, May 1986

I've not only enjoyed the book, but I was most impressed by your ability to observe, to penetrate and describe.
Justice Moshe Bejski, The Supreme Court of Israel, June 1985

What a wonderful Hebrew... The importance of this book is in allowing people to enter this spiritual world and acknowledge it. I will recommend it to all my friends. Bless you.
Former Mayor of the city of Tel Aviv Shlomo Lahat 1985

The ten stories with the second generation dimension of the Holocaust are very moving indeed... Your book constitutes a new approach in dealing literarily with this painful and incomprehensible topic.
Dr. Niels Hansen, former Ambassador of Germany in Israel, April 1985

In 1985, after I finished reading A Hat of Glass for the first time, I called author Nava Semel and asked to meet her. That is how affected I was by her stories... Semel exposes the difficult world of Holocaust survivors, supposedly healed but still living out the nightmare and the fears... This book awarded Nava Semel with many prizes and she became an internationally known lecturer on the influence of the Holocaust on the Second Generation.
Sarit Yishay-Levi, Olam Haisha Magazine, November 1998

My personal recommendation is A Hat of Glass. Thirteen years after its original publication, this new edition, contains ten stories of adult children who borrow someone else's Holocaust. They breathe, listen and watch the silence. This protective shield, which was supposed to prevent them from feeling pain, concentrates instead like a ceiling of a green house. The "hat of glass" is like the bell jar which takes the divers deep down, says Prof. Nurit Govrin, in her Introduction to the book. It is the glass cage in which the Nazi Eichmann was locked, or the showcases which contain shoes, dolls and hair in Auschwitz.
Nava Semel added a story to the new edition. In 'Celine's Park' a mother and her two children go to a public garden, but they are also joined by the mother's mother and all her dead follow behind them. Celine is a small girl who perished during the Holocaust, but a park is not enough, the two children say: 'We could have done more. A candy store named after Celine, for example".
Tzipi Gon-Gross, Galley Tzhal (IDF Radio Station), June 1998

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