“Tsabari’s characters will step off the page to captivate readers.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Confident, original and humane, these stories are peopled with characters at the crossroads of nationalities, religions and communities: expatriates, travellers, immigrants and locals. The Best Place on Earth illuminates the tenuous connections—forged, frayed and occasionally destroyed—between cultures, between generations and across the gulf of transformation and loss.
In the powerfully affecting opening story, “Tikkun,” a chance meeting between a man and his former lover carries them through near tragedy and into unexpected peace. In “Casualties,” Tsabari takes us into the military—a world every Israeli knows all too well—with a brusque, sexy young female soldier who forges medical leave forms to make ends meet.
Poets, soldiers, siblings and dissenters, the protagonists here are mostly Israelis of Mizrahi background (Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent) whose stories have rarely been told in literature. In illustrating the lives of those whose identities swing from fiercely patriotic to powerfully global, Ayelet Tsabari explores Israeli history even as she reveals the universality of war, love, heartbreak and hope.