“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.
About the author
Ayelet Tsabari is the author of the memoir in essays The Art of Leaving, winner of the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards, a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, and The Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature, and an Apple Books and Kirkus Review Best Book of 2019. She co-edited with Leonarda Carranza and Eufemia Fantetti the anthology Tongues, On Longing and Belonging through Language.
Her first book, The Best Place On Earth, won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish Fiction. The book was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, Kirkus Review’s Best Debut Fiction of 2016, was nominated for The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and has been published internationally to great acclaim.
A graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio and the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph, Ayelet teaches at the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph, at University of King’s College’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction, and The Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Track in Creative Writing in Bar Ilan University.
Stories about Israelis of Yemeni descentThere's an intensity to Tsabari's stories that probably mimics the experience of life in contemporary Israel. I loved the glimpses they gave into the inner and outer worlds of her characters.
Loved it!Fabulous short story collection by Yemeni-Israeli-Canadian author Ayelet Tsabari. Takes place in different parts of Israel. Each story pulses, full of life. Highly recommended!
Other titles by Ayelet Tsabari
On Longing and Belonging through Language
The Art of Leaving
The Journey Prize Stories 29
The Best of Canada's New Writers
Below Sea Level
The Poets In The Kitchen Window