Shani Boianjiu

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Shani Boianjiu
Shani Boianjiu, 2013
Shani Boianjiu, 2013
Born1987 (age 32–33)
Jerusalem, Israel
LanguageHebrew, English
Alma materHarvard University

Shani Boianjiu (Hebrew: שני בוינג'ו‎; born 1987) is an Israeli author. Her debut novel, The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, was released in 2012,[1] and has been published in 23 countries.[2] In 2011 the National Book Foundation named her a 5 under 35 honoree.


Boianjiu was born in Jerusalem to parents of Iraqi and Romanian descent, and grew up in Ma'alot Tarshiha and Kfar Vradim in the Western Galilee.[3][4] She attended Phillips Exeter Academy, graduating in 2005. After two years of service in the Israeli Defense Forces, she attended Harvard, graduating in 2011.[5][6]

While at Harvard, Boianjiu served as president of the Radcliffe Union of Students, Harvard's feminist organization,[7] and as the co-chair of Quincy House House's Committee.[8] She was a junior research partner at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study, working for the scholar Reuven Snir.[9] In the summer of 2008, she attended summer school at Waseda University, Tokyo.[10] In the summer of 2009, she interned at the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.[11][12][13] In the summer of 2010, she used the funds she received as an Artist Development Fellowship recipient to rent an apartment right across from Iowa City's jail and write fiction.[14]

She lives in the Western Galilee and is currently completing work on her second novel.[15][16]

Boianjiu's writing has appeared in The New York Times,[17] The New Yorker,[18] Zoetrope,[19] Vice,[20] The Wall Street Journal,[21] The Globe and Mail,[22] Dazed and Confused,[23] The Guardian,[24],[25] Chatelaine[26] and Flavorwire.[27]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Boianjiu was the first Israeli author to be longlisted for the UK's Women's Prize for Fiction, and the youngest nominee that year (2013).[28] Her debut novel was selected as one of the ten best fiction titles of 2012 by The Wall Street Journal, [29] as one of the Pakistani Herald's best books of 2012,[30] as one of the Swedish Sydsvenskan's best books of 2013,[31] and as one of the Israeli Haaretz's best books of 2014.[32]

Boianjiu is the youngest recipient ever of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 award, based on a recommendation from the writer Nicole Krauss.[33] She was a finalist for the 2013 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature,[34] a semi-finalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award,[35] and selected as one of The Algemeiner's Jewish 100.[36] She was shortlisted for the 2014 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize.[37]


  1. ^ Williams, John (September 26, 2012). "Shani Boianjiu on Her New Novel and Female Soldiers in Israel". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  2. ^ "War is Natural".
  3. ^ Shani Boianjiu (July 10, 2013). "Shani Boianjiu: How I write". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  4. ^ "Sex, Guns and Boredom". Die Welt.
  5. ^ "Shani Boianjiu". Los Angeles Review of Books. Archived from the original on 2013-08-30.
  6. ^ "Breaking News: You're Old," WORMBOOK.
  7. ^ "Sexploitation". The Harvard Crimson. March 30, 2009.
  8. ^ "Quincy Mole," Youtube.
  9. ^ Reuven Snir, at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
  10. ^ "Asia-related student research projects are awarded funding," Harvard Gazette.
  11. ^ Human Rights Studies Award Recipients at Harvard.
  12. ^ "2008-2009 Annual Report," The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (link in Hebrew).
  13. ^ "Protocol of the Interior and Environmental Protection Committee, July 28 2009," the Israeli Knesset (link in Hebrew).
  14. ^ "2010 Artist Development Fellows". Harvard Arts Blog. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28.
  15. ^ "Five Questions With... Shani Boianjiu". International Festival of Authors.
  16. ^ "12 novelists tell their scariest bite-size stories". Salon. October 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "What Happens When the Two Israel's Meet," The New York Times.
  18. ^ "Means of Suppressing Demonstrations," The New Yorker.
  19. ^ "People That Don't Exist," Zoetrope.
  20. ^ "The Sound of All Girls Screaming," Vice.
  21. ^ "Shani Boianjiu on Novels About Coming of Age". The Wall Street Journal.
  22. ^ "Things I Have Done I Cannot Undo". The Globe and Mail.
  23. ^ "Should Armies Use Social Media to Fight Their Wars?" Dazed and Confused.
  24. ^ "Young Gun: Life in the Israel Defense Forces". The Guardian. March 11, 2013.
  25. ^ "Books Behaving Badly: A Tale Of Real Life In Ink".
  26. ^ "The Sound of All Girls Screaming," Chatelaine.
  27. ^ "10 Fantastic Books About Ladies on the Move," Flavorwire.
  28. ^ "Israel's Shani Boianjiu in the running for top U.K. book award," Haaretz.
  29. ^ "The Best Fiction of 2012," The Wall Street Journal
  30. ^ "Best Books for 2012," Herald.
  31. ^ "Årets böcker 2013," Sydvenskan.
  32. ^ "The Best Books of 2014," Haaretz.
  33. ^ "5 Under 35, 2011". National Book Foundation. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  34. ^ "2013 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature". Jewish Book Council.
  35. ^ VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.
  36. ^ "Jewish 100: Shani Boianjiu - Tomorrow," The Algemeiner.
  37. ^ "Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize Shortlist Announced," Foyles.