The Best Place On Earth: Stories
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Like all her stories, the premise is simple but the writing is full of depth. And, like all Tsabari's stories, the story has a third character-Israel, its beauty and its danger. As a New Yorker, I think I have some appreciation of what it means to love a difficult city filled with difficult people. But these cities go beyond New York-in their history as well as in their violence.
Tsabari's Israel is fascinating, full of mystery and beauty as well as ugliness and danger. And in these cities, people, like people everywhere, are constructing their ordinary lives, struggling to achieve their own satisfactory lives caught in the web of history and geography. View all 8 comments. Shelves: israeli-fiction , short-stories-and-novellas. A wonderful collection of short stories and a superb writing. The stories themselves touch specific motives that are very typical to Israel such as tradition, the army and immigration to or from Israel, but are still very relevant to readers from other nationalities.
View 2 comments. Apr 07, Joan rated it it was amazing. Stories filled with insight and compassion into the Israeli experience both at home and abroad. Mar 31, Erika Dreifus added it Shelves: jewish-lit , short-story-collections. What a wonderful collection of stories. I splurged and bought a copy via Amazon. In any case, I'm glad that I went ahead and got my copy.
Best Place Earth by Tsabari, Used
I'll be eager to read whatever Ayelet Tsabari writes next! Mar 13, Ellis Shuman rated it it was amazing. Ayelet Tsabari's stories are compelling and compassionate; they speak out from the heart of Israeli society and experiences. Lior immediately notices that Natalie has changed. Lior and Natalie had fallen in love during the nineties. Haddad, who everyone calls Savta.
The author gives voice to Mizrahi residents of Israel. The stories of The Best Place on Earth leave you wishing you could accompany the characters through additional pages and adventures. Highly recommended! Captivating, moving, evocative, sultry So while I finish my review, here's a sample of Tsabari's gorgeous writing: "They could see the shores of the lake now; hunks of salt floating in the water like misplaced ice floes.
His ears popped. The lower they got the deeper his heart sank. Why would his Dad choose to live here? At least in the city there was a crowd one could disappear into, streets and buildings in neat rows, the space organized and contained. The desert had always made David uncomf Captivating, moving, evocative, sultry The desert had always made David uncomfortable, how wide open and vast it was, its landscape hard and bony, like knuckles on a fist. And there was the silence, and the deadly heat - a monster ready to open its mouth and swallow him whole.
View all 12 comments. Mar 08, Book Riot Community added it Shelves: new-books-liberty-s-recs.
Tsabati has set these eleven emotionally powerful stories all over the world, and filled them with hope, fear, love, loss, and religion. The title story is about two estranged sisters trying to reunite, plus there are stories about a woman's shock at learning about her grandson's upbringing, a man who narrowly avoids catastrophe, a young medic in the Israeli army, and more.
Tsabati is being compared to Jhumpa Lahiri, but I must admit I have never read Lahiri, so I cannot confirm that claim. You Tsabati has set these eleven emotionally powerful stories all over the world, and filled them with hope, fear, love, loss, and religion. You can let me know! I read two stories from this collection and I didn't like it. I had the feeling this was written by a young writer for a young audience.
It thought these stories were very superficial, especially the second one. Maybe the other stories are better but I lost interest. Not for me. Mar 26, Owaiz rated it it was amazing Shelves: jewish-literature. Go to the Author's profile and check out the individual stories if you want. First, how I got here. Israel happens to be the only place on earth with the greatest divide for me.
Eventually I grew up and ended up an atheist, yet my passport Pakistani clearly states it is valid everywhere in the word, except Israel, of course. I looked at the photos on the internet, read on Wikipedia, but it always seemed still; I was blocked, as I still am, probably. This is the first book falling into the category of Israeli fiction that I read. And I am glad that I ended up finding this book.
The first three lines in the first story, Tikkun, immediately drew me in. Written so beautifully that I knew there was no going back. I read the first page thrice, trying to construct that one Jerusalem street in my mind, filling it with people, bringing it to life; and, also, because the writing was so beautiful that I just had to reread, like you would look at a beautiful face over and again, stare at it till you've had enough.
I loved each and every story in this book. It showed me a whole new dimension of Israel, somehow bringing Israel to life for me, like Humans of New York page on Facebook does for people. I feel privileged to have read this book, to be able to understand although I've always believed that already , that Israel is not just a hotbed for fanatics and religious battles. It has people, like everywhere else in the world, fighting battles of their own, living life, facing personal crises, etc. I didn't expect that I'd be able to relate to anything in this book, given I am from Pakistan, but I was able to relate to more than half of the stories.
I'd recommend this to everyone, as I already have to some of my friends who I hold in high-regard. Jul 16, Cary rated it it was amazing Shelves: short-stories. Refreshingly excellent. Each story felt so real. All of them kept me wanting more. Whenever the story ended, I kind of felt bad as I didn't want it to be over yet. I feel like I've learned so much about Israel and about Israelis who have migrated to the West, especially Canada. The stories were really good IMO. Highly recommended. Feb 07, Mike W rated it really liked it. A collection about Mizrahi living in or remembering their time in Israel, and even more specifically, Mizrahi of Yemeni descent, may sound daunting to readers like myself who possess little to no knowledge of the people and culture.
However, this is a collection that sparks a human connection, and while the culture and the names may be unfamiliar, their angsts and desires are not. Each story in the collection stands alone, but there are themes which tie them together, one having already been mentioned. Another is the onus of mandatory military service to all citizens, another the unique challenges of Mizrahi living among the majority Ashkenazi, another, a sexual energy that permeates many of the stories, and of course there is the ever looming threat of random and terrifying violence.
These themes form a framework in which Tsabari's various characters work out their humanity and their problems, universal to the human condition, make their stories both interesting and fascinating. I do not mean to imply that there is not an exotic or "foreign" feel to the American reader, there is. I have never been to Israel but this collection in a sense did take me there. From the smell of the markets, the brands of cigarettes, the colors, the clubs and the feel of vibrant cities who emit an "all night feel" even with danger being ever present.
In one story it is theorized that it may be precisely this danger that fuels the vibrancy of the cities, "maybe there's something good about knowing it could all end at any minute. I should mention that no special knowledge is required to understand the collection. Tsabari deftly guides the reader through the terms and phrases that will be unfamiliar to many readers and manages to do a great deal of teaching about the region within the context of the stories. The Best Place on Earth is a remarkable collection of stories that land all along the spectrum of complex human emotions.
Enriching and enlightening, the collection uses a focus on interesting characters set among a relatively tiny group of people in a very small part of the world to reflect our shared humanity; a unique reading experience that is easy to recommend.
The main characters are all women - some children, some teenagers, some adults, so a nice mix. All of the stories revolve around relationships, among families, friends, and lovers. Each character is complex, and the secondary characters are also rich - not easy to do in a short story. The main focus is on Mizrahi and Yemeni Jews, rather than Ashkenazi Jews of which much more has been written, at least in Engli "The Best Place on Earth" is an excellent book of short stories about life in Israel. The main focus is on Mizrahi and Yemeni Jews, rather than Ashkenazi Jews of which much more has been written, at least in English.
This focus makes for a fascinating look into cultures that often get short shrift in Jewish and Israeli literature. Many of the stories involve food and customs that Jewish immigrants from Yemen, Iraq and other countries brought with them to Israel, and explore how the characters and their families have retained some of that identity while becoming or growing up Israeli.
Another major theme is, what is home? The title story follows two sisters who grew up in Israel, but one left to move to Canada. Each sister has trouble understanding the other's fondness for her home.
The Best Place on Earth: Stories - AbeBooks - Ayelet Tsabari:
Tsabari takes us around Israel from Jerusalem to Eilat, and even the Sinai. One of my favorite stories, "Borders," is about the Jewish community that sprung up in Sinai after the Six-Day War, their relationship with the native Bedouins, and how hard it was for the Jews to leave after the Camp David Accords in I also appreciated that not all of the main characters were Jewish, and that most of the characters were not Orthodox. One story follows a Filipino caregiver; considering how large Israel's migrant worker community is, it was refreshing to have a story that focused on them and the advantages and disadvantages they face.
All of the characters connect with Judaism in different ways. Most of the stories do not directly deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it still looms over the characters and the decisions they make. This may explain why Tsabari included so much sex in the book, to show how Israelis react to the prospect of death by making love. I did feel that the sex was gratuitous in some stories, though for others it made sense.
Tsabari has created a wonderful and unique portrait of life in Israel. She has shown a different side of Israel - the multicultural, immigrant side - than is often portrayed of Israel, at least in the news. Highly recommend!
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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. 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.
The Best Place on Earth, a complicated love song to Israel, is a sure-footed and stunningly skillful debut. These stories. 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. Her writing has an immediacy and power that invites readers into her characters' psyches. Seller Inventory AAC Seller Inventory BTE Seller Inventory Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher.
Dispatch time is working days from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Book Description Random House. Seller Inventory ZZN.
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The Best Place on Earth: Stories.