The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu

“[D]disarming and full of life.”
Nicole Krauss, author of Great House and The History of Love

Get a sneak peek! Read Shani Boianjiu’s short story “Means of Suppressing Demonstrations,” published in The New Yorker. And check out the The New Yorker’s Q&A with Shani Boianjiu.

Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village, attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms, passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life.

When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to sustain.

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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 caustic humor and fierce intelligence, Shani 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.

The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu – Excerpt

SHANI BOIANJIU was born in 1987 in a small town on the Israel/Lebanon border, and she served in the Israeli Defense Forces for two years. Her fiction has been published in Vice magazine and Zoetrope: All Story. Shani is the youngest recipient ever of the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35 Award, for which she was chosen by Nicole Krauss. She lives in Israel.

Visit Shani online on Twitter @shaniboianjiu and on Goodreads.

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

  • Jeanette

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this compares with the experiences of my Israeli housemate of long ago.

  • Esther Arlan

    I have been looking for a book for the Sassy Ladies Book Group and this looks like the perfect book to start off our 3rd year of gatherings.


  • Pat

    I have found so many great books on read it forward and have told anyone I can about read it forward. I have also won some great reads, and passed them on also, but always with anticipation of getting them back to add to my library.
    I love, love, love books!


    The form will not display in order to enter.

  • Barbara Butler

    would love to win this so i can read it

  • Susan Gruener

    This sounds like a book I need to read. I love Israel. I visited there a couple of years ago and can’t wait to go back. There is not a country like it in the world. Thanks Shani! And thanks “read-it-forward”!


    Would love to win

  • Erin Sunderman

    Sounds interesting – I’d love to win it!

  • Diana Giblette

    Sounds like a great read!

  • Ronald Salazar

    I’d love to win it

  • Cheri Williams

    I have never read anything like this. Would be interested to read to see if I like it.

  • Amanda

    Sounds interesting.

  • Julie Henthorn

    Now on my to read list – would be great to get a free copy!

  • Melissa lundy

    I would love to read this book

  • Janet

    This is a topic I have been interested in, will be nice to read this POV.

  • Shellie

    Is there a form to fill out? I can’t find one.

  • Laura Harrison

    I would love to read this book. I can’t find the form for contest entry 🙁

  • Crystal

    Sounds very interesting. I would love to win it! Thank you RIF!!

  • Rosa M Pacheco

    sounds like an interesting book

  • Pat

    Thank you so much for letting me know i’m one of the lucky winners, now I can’t wait to receive the book and start reading.

  • Dawn C

    Awesome story line!!

  • Dafna

    I’m so excited to learn that I won this book! It seems like a very interesting subject and I can’t wait to read it. Thank you!

  • Catherine

    Can’t find the form to fill out, but I’d love to win a copy of this book!

  • Virginia Vaughn

    Thank you. Would love to win a copy of this book!

  • Helen Markus

    Sounds like a great read!

  • Kathy Smith

    this book really sounds like something I would like to read

  • Leslie roper

    I spent a year living in Israel and always keep up with Israely authors.

  • Diana

    This book sounds like a great read. Will definitely put it on my to read list!

  • Suzanne Moore

    I would also be very interested in reading this book.

  • nylne

    This will consisit ofa cultural education!

  • Carol Wong

    This one should fascinating, their childhood was so different from ours.


    fell in love with this super talent from a village nemed for roses

    needs to be in usa for rosh hashanah
    needs to be prominent for jews of usa

    good person for michelle obama to introduce to us!

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