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Synopsis

Confident, original and humane, the stories in The Best Place on Earth are peopled with characters at the crossroads of nationalities, religions and communities: expatriates, travellers, immigrants and locals.

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, The Best Place on Earth explores Israeli history as it illuminates the tenuous connections-forged, frayed and occasionally destroyed-between cultures, between generations and across the gulf of transformation and loss.

"Stories are survival. Fiercely alert, Tsabari’s Israeli-Mizrahi inspired stories–where nothing is a given–deserves our fierce attention. Her deft evoking of the sensate vibrancy of Israeli daily life locates us inside its very vectors of violence and intimacy. There is no turning away. Elating, wrenching, The Best Place on Earth is on the cutting edge of our literature; our deeper comprehension of global life." – Betsy Warland, author of Breathing The Page

“Tsabari’s stories pulse with raw energy as they unfurl along the fault lines within modern Israeli society. The compelling urgency of this collection reflects the multi-faceted culture it brings to life; its quiet wisdom speaks to the universality of the hopes and conflicts it depicts.” Nancy Richler, author of The Imposter Bride

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