Enter the world of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, where the characters are as intelligent and charming as they are lonely. A couple discovers the ability to stop time together; another couple lives with a constant loud beeping in their apartment, though only one of them can hear it. A father leaves his daughter in Israel to pursue a painting career in New York; a sex worker falls in love with the Israeli photographer who studies her. Together these stories explore the tension between an anonymous, globalized world and an irrepressible lust for connection—they form an intimate document of niche moments between characters who are so brilliantly, subtly, and magically rendered by Shelly Oria's capable hands.
The book looks at the ways in which Israel’s integration into the global economy has affected its main stream culture. Ofengenden uses works of Israeli film, literature, and television, from the past 30 years to conceptualize the changes in Israel’s culture.
Reminiscent of the early work of Jhumpa Lahiri, Ayelet Tsabari’s award-winning debut collection of stories is global in scope yet intimate in feel, beautifully written, and emotionally powerful. From Israel to India to Canada, Tsabari’s indelible characters grapple with love, violence, faith, the slipperiness of identity, and the challenges of balancing old traditions with modern times. These eleven spellbinding stories often focus on Israel’s Mizrahi Jews, featuring mothers and children, soldiers and bohemians, lovers and best friends, all searching for their place in the world. In “Tikkun,” a man crosses paths with his free-spirited ex-girlfriend—now a married Orthodox Jew—and minutes later barely escapes tragedy. In “Brit Milah,” a mother travels from Israel to visit her daughter in Canada and is stunned by her grandson’s upbringing. A young medic in the Israeli army bends the rules to potentially dangerous consequence in “Casualties.” After her mom passes away, a teenage girl comes to live with her aunt outside Tel Aviv and has her first experience with unrequited love in “Say It Again, Say Something Else.” And in the moving title story, two estranged sisters—one whose marriage is ending, the other whose relationship is just beginning—try to recapture the close bond they had as kids. Absorbing, tender, and sharply observed, The Best Place on Earth infuses moments of sorrow with small moments of grace: a boy composes poetry in a bomb shelter, an old photo helps a girl make sense of her mother’s rootless past. Tsabari’s voice is gentle yet wise, illuminating the burdens of history, the strength of the heart, and our universal desire to belong. Praise for The Best Place on Earth “It’s impossible not to be awestruck by the depth and power rendered in Tsabari’s stories.”—Elle “Tsabari creates complex, conflicted, prickly people you'll want to get to know better.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “There’s remarkable scope in Ayelet Tsabari’s The Best Place on Earth, which interweaves stories of discrimination, loss, displacement, sex, death, religion, and a host of other issues. And yet, despite the range of viewpoints and the different facets of Israeli society explored, this is a collection that always stays intensely personal, the broader forces of history moving not merely across nations but within the souls of her beautifully conceived characters.”—Phil Klay, National Book Award–winning author of Redeployment “With incredible compassion and a delicate touch, Ayelet Tsabari explores the heartbreak inherent in forming bonds, whether with another person or with a whole country. The Best Place on Earth, a complicated love song to Israel, is a sure-footed and stunningly skillful debut.”—Shelly Oria, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 “Powerful . . . brilliant . . . These stories . . . depict minorities so skillfully, with such a light and accurate touch.”—The Daily Beast “Highly recommended . . . Compelling and compassionate; [Tsabari’s stories] speak out from the heart of Israeli society and experiences. . . . The stories of The Best Place on Earth leave you wishing they wouldn’t end.”—The Times of Israel “This short story collection is a fiction debut for Tsabari, but it demonstrates that she is already a talented storyteller. . . . Her writing has an immediacy and power that invites readers into her characters’ psyches.”—Publishers Weekly From the Hardcover edition.
"Barghouti is the future. He is intelligent, empowered, and non-violent. He is completely impressive. It would help Americans to see such a picture of Palestinian political engagement, when they have such a distorted image of who Palestinians are. Some day they will know him."—Phillip Weiss, author of Mondoweiss: The War of Ideas in the Middle East THIRTY YEARS ago, an international movement utilizing boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) tactics rose in solidarity with those suffering under the brutal apartheid regime of South Africa. The historic acts of BDS activists from around the world isolated South Africa as a pariah state and heralded the end of apartheid. Now, as awareness of the apartheid nature of the State of Israel continues to grow, Omar Barghouti, founding member of the Palestinian Civil Society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, presents a renewed call to action. Aimed at forcing the State of Israel to uphold international law and universal human rights for the Palestinian people, here is a manifesto for change. “No one has done more to build the intellectual, legal and moral case for BDS than Omar Barghouti. The global Palestinian solidarity movement has been transformed and is on the cusp of major new breakthroughs.” —Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo “I commend this excellent book by Omar Barghouti…BDS is a call to refuse to be silent in the face of military occupation of the Palestinian people by the Israeli regime, apartheid, and colonialism. BDS is a nonviolent way in which each of us and our governments can follow our conscience and rightful moral and legal responsibility and act now to save Palestinian lives by demanding that the Israeli apartheid regime give justice and equality to all." —Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate (1976)