Ear­li­er this week, Nan­cy Rich­ler dis­cussed the per­spec­tive of her nov­el The Imposter Bride and why she decid­ed to for­go research. She has been blog­ging here for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing all week. 

A few weeks ago I was asked to pro­vide a blurb for an about-to-be-pub­lished col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, The Best Place on Earth, by a young Israeli born writer named Ayelet Tsabari. Set against a back­drop of war, con­flict and the army ser­vice, with under­ly­ing themes of dis­place­ment, the quest for home,’ love and loss, the sto­ries in this col­lec­tion pulse with raw ener­gy as they unfurl along the fault lines with­in Israeli soci­ety. The author stretch­es her­self to write from a broad vari­ety of per­spec­tives, and while not every sto­ry works per­fect­ly she cap­tures the par­tic­u­lar inten­si­ty, urgency and ambiva­lence of the young Israelis she depicts, and there is a com­pelling urgency to each of the sto­ries and to the col­lec­tion as a whole that reflects the mul­ti­fac­eted soci­ety she brings to life. 

Tsabari is an Israeli of Yemeni descent, and her sto­ries are all told from the per­spec­tive of Mizrahi Israelis. I real­ized as I was read­ing it how rarely I have seen that sec­tor of Israeli soci­ety rep­re­sent­ed in fic­tion and how hun­gry I am for more fic­tion about the lives of non-Ashke­nazi Israelis. A recent vis­it to Ethiopia inten­si­fied that inter­est, so if any­one can rec­om­mend fic­tion by Mizrahi and/​or Ethiopi­an Israelis that has been trans­lat­ed into Eng­lish I would real­ly appre­ci­ate it. (I wish I didn’t have to rely on Eng­lish trans­la­tions or books writ­ten in Eng­lish as Tsabari’s is but, alas, my Hebrew is not up to the task) You can write to me at contact@​nancyrichler.​com.

Com­ment below to let us know which books you would rec­om­mend! Find out more about Nan­cy here.