There may be no place more blessed—or burdened—with narrative than Israel. In this country, story and place are inextricable. From stories set in the historical, holy city of Jerusalem to those that take place in the modern, secular city of Tel Aviv, from writing addressing the current “situation” to tales inspired by the timeless desert, this volume of sixteen short stories of Israel’s finest new writers, and some of its best-loved ones, captures for the reader one of the world’s most fascinating travel destinations.

A perfect way of looking into a country, inside its houses and apartment buildings, at its weddings and feuds and even wars.

Na’amat Woman

The stories themselves are strong, eloquent and penned by the very best Israeli writers.

Publishers Weekly

The 16 pieces here, which are arranged by geographical area (for those who may want to carry a copy of the work along while visiting the country) and theme, include work of the 1980s and ’90s (much of it previously untranslated) from such celebrated figures as Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Shulamith Hareven, and David Grossman—and most memorably, two terrific offerings by lesser-knowns: Yehudit Katzir´s crisp, haunting “Closing the Sea” and Yosl Birstein’s elegiac “The Writer A.M. Fuchs Was Already Old.” This is a good idea, done well.

Bruce Allen, Kirkus Reviews

The pieces reveal a cross section of people in situations tender, sad, angry, and funny. Collectively, the pieces present a view of Israeli life seldom encountered by tourists or other outsiders, as well as suggesting the rich state of creative writing in the country today.

Library Journal

  • Tel Aviv
    • Yehudit Katzir, Closing the Sea
    • Gafi Amir, By the Time You’re Twenty-One You’ll Reach the Moon
    • Yossi Avni, The Last Crusades
  • Jerusalem
    • Amos Oz, Thank God for His Daily Blessings
    • Yosl Birstein, In the Neighborhood Where Biblical Prophets . . .
  • Eilat
    • Gadi Taub, You Never Can Tell
  • Kibbutz
    • A. B. Yehoshua, Galia’s Wedding
  • Town
    • David Ehrlich, The Store
    • Yitzchak Laor, Rachely’s Father Who Was an Actor
  • Land
    • Ofra Riesenfeld, What’s There and What Isn’t
    • Shulamith Hareven, After Childhood
  • Borders
    • David Grossman, The Other Barta’a
    • Etgar Kerrett, Cocked and Locked
    • Orly Castel-Bloom, Someone Else’s Story
  • Pilgrimage
    • Yoram Kolerstein, Idolatry
    • Yosl Birstein, The Writer A. M. Fuchs Was Already Old
  • Gafi Amir
  • Yossi Avni
  • Yosl Birstein
  • Orly Castel-Bloom
  • David Ehrlich
  • David Grossman
  • Shulamith Hareven
  • Yehudit Katzir
  • Etgar Kerrett
  • Yoram Kolerstein
  • Yitzchak Laor
  • Amos Oz
  • Ofra Riesenfeld
  • Gadi Taub
  • A. B. Yehoshua

ISRAEL, edited by Michael Gluzman and Naomi Seidman, ISBN # 9781883513030

Excerpts to come.

Posted on 24 February 2010

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