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.