Nissim / A Short Story

Olga Lempert

Small and raggedy, his scowl still terrified me. This was when he knocked on my door and announced he had come to stay with me. He looked like he was having a tougher time than most. Shallow unshaven cheeks, angry burning eyes set deep into black circles, shaggy brows. He said his name was Nissim. I gave him some towels and sheets and left him to get on with it.

Cassandra

Orian Zakai

“Tell them all that we love them to the moon and back”— the last message of the tatzpitaniyot (female lookouts) at the Nahal Oz outpost on October 7, 2023. The lookouts reportedly foresaw the events but their warnings were ignored. All but two were either murdered or taken hostage. A poem.

The Risk of Unanticipated Readers

Akin Ajayi

A new novel satirizing the travails of an Israeli in West Africa may make sense to local readers but risks missing the point in translation.

For Whom Do I Toil?

Tomer Gardi

On Globalization and Contemporary Hebrew World Literature.

The First Women

Dana Kessler

A new book about the women of the Bible reveals an impressive variety of heroines - both familiar and unknown - and their relevance for our times.

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Sex

Haim Watzman

The (deliberately) bad sex scenes in four modern Israeli novels reveal writers who play with and subvert expectations and conventions.

The Dilemmas of Victory

Vivian Cohen-Leisorek

Yishai Sarid's new novel about an Israeli military psychologist raises important questions about honor, loyalty, and truth.

Tales from the Crane Nation

Alex Stein

A new collection of short stories set in the Holy Land is caught between its Israeli and its international ambitions.

When a Bookseller Writes a Book

Janice Weizman

A legendary Tel Aviv bookstore owner's debut story collection is full of memorable characters and gripping tales from one of the city's grittiest areas.

Trials of the Diaspora

Liam Hoare

Why A.B. Yehoshua's concern for the Jewish people and the future of Israel were the key ingredients of his fiction.

Tel Aviv Noir

Dana Kessler

An interview with the author Daria Shualy about her trailblazing debut detective novel, the state of crime lit in Israel, and the writing life.

When a Rapper Writes a Novel

Shira Melcer

Despite its flaws, the debut novel by Hadag Nahash frontman Sha'anan Street inspires a deep longing for the Jerusalem of yesteryear.

God at Arm’s Length

Yiftach Ashkenazi

In her new book "Figuring Jerusalem: Politics and Poetics in the Sacred Center," literary scholar Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi calls attention to the dangers of assigning God a particular geographic space. An interview.

If Only Sally Rooney Understood How Israeli Publishing Works

Yiftach Ashkenazi

The Irish novelist's decision not to publish her latest novel with an Israeli publisher reveals her fundamental ignorance about the actual relationship between Israeli literature, the Israeli establishment, and the Occupation.

Welcome to the British Dominion of Israel

Tal Kra-Oz

A new novel boldly attempts to pad out Israel's meager counterfactual bookshelf. But a romantic fascination with the country's pre-state period is not enough to sustain a solid piece of alternate history, a genre with its own set of rules.

Aquarium

Todd Hasak-Lowy Yaara Shehori

An excerpt from Yaara Shehori's new novel about the relationship between two deaf sisters.

Nehemyah

Oded Even Or Yakov Z. Mayer

An exclusive English translation of the 2020 Sapir Prize-shortlisted novel about a man's search for the reputed messiah Sabbatai Tzvi.

“I have a good memory because I’m too weak to forget”

Shachar Pinsker

A new English selection of Avrom Sutskever's essential prose reveals the fascinating tension between the great Yiddish writer's Israeli present and his East European past.

Elisha Appears Again

Yardenne Greenspan Yonat Rum

An exclusive English translation of Yonat Rum's tale of loss, survival and memory, winner of Haaretz newspaper's 2018 short story contest.

Set Me Free

Lina Rose

Mind-altering drugs, sexual fluidity, stealing the borders: the new Israeli children's novel that's breaking boundaries.

Yosef Haim Brenner in Life and Death

Jeffrey Saks S.Y. Agnon

A Hebrew literary giant's eulogy of another: An exclusive English translation of S.Y. Agnon's 'in memoriam' of Yosef Haim Brenner, upon the centenary of his murder.

The Manuscript

Ruby Namdar Yardenne Greenspan

An exclusive English translation of a new short story by Sapir Prize-winning novelist Ruby Namdar, set in 1970s Tel Aviv.

“Everyone is responsible for the explosion.”

Jonathan Fine

A conversation with artist Rutu Modan about her 2020 graphic novel 'Tunnels', storytelling in comics, and the relationship between truth and ideology.

A Critical Case

Liam Hoare

A new reissue of Batya Gur's oeuvre offers a welcome opportunity to revisit the founding mother of Israeli detective fiction.

The Great Israeli Novels

Jessica Cohen

A response to Haim Watzman's 'The NeverEnding Stories' from the Winter 2020 issue.

The NeverEnding Stories

Haim Watzman

Why are so many contemporary Israeli novels excruciatingly overlong?

The Unshakeable One

Liam Hoare

Reflections on Amos Oz's final lecture and his relationship with Germany.

A Prophet without Honor

Noa Manheim

Why is Lavie Tidhar, an author of global renown, so underappreciated in the land of his birth?

Dark Matter

Shira Stav

A short journey into the long darkness.

The Memory Monster

Yardenne Greenspan Yishai Sarid

An excerpt from Yishai Sarid's new novel about a historian who specializes in leading tours of concentration camps in Poland.

Snowtrain

Tal Yacob Yardenne Greenspan

An excerpt from Tal Yacob's novel about a violent and sexual encounter between a male prostitute and an assassin.

Introducing Maayan Eitan

TARB editors

An interview with the newest member of the Tel Aviv Review of Books editorial team.

The Woman Who Wasn’t

Illa Ben Porat Maayan Eitan

An excerpt from Illa Ben Porat's new novel about a detective investigating the case of a missing mother.

Love: A Novel

Maayan Eitan

An excerpt from Maayan Eitan's new novel about a young prostitute in a Tel Aviv-like city.

Who’s Looking at the Rhinoceros?

Yaara Shehori

An exclusive translation of Yaara Shehori's response to Assaf Inbari's Haaretz essay on autobiographical fiction.

The Rake’s Progress

Benjamin Balint

In his latest book, one of Israel's most celebrated writers turns his attention to horticultural pursuits.

I’m Building a Gallows

Alex Moshkin Rita Kogan Zackary Sholem Berger

A selection of English translations of work by the poet Rita Kogan.

Welcome to the Desert of the Real

Ioram Melcer

We’re used to saying that truth is stranger than fiction. But why does Israeli literature hold back from strangeness in both truth and fiction?

The Drive

Jessica Cohen Yair Assulin

An excerpt from Yair Assulin's new novel, translated by Jessica Cohen.

Sick of Himself? Sayed Kashua’s Track Changes

Elaine Margolin

In his new novel, Sayed Kashua seems trapped between the past and the future he seems strangely hesitant to describe.

Hebrews in America: Israeli Literature goes Global

Ari Hoffman

Zionism was conceived as an antidote to Jewish displacement, but a few generations after the establishment of the Jewish state, Israeli literature makes itself at home even far away from home.  

An Enemy From Another Dimension: Israeli and Palestinian Science Fiction and Fantasy

Hagay HaCohen

The recent publication of two English-language anthologies of science fiction stories, Zion's Fiction and Palestine 100, allows us to examine the complexities of reality in the cold light of the stars.

Reading Lolita in Tel Aviv: ‘We must not assimilate into Israel; we must assimilate Israel into ourselves’

Shachar Pinsker

Thanks to its intrinsically conflicted nature, the Yiddish literature of the young Israel has been exceptionally potent in exploring the thematic proximity between the Holocaust and the Nakba.    

‘Aethon Fires’

Haim Watzman

A new "Necessary Story" by Haim Watzman.

Muck: Biblical Fiction as Criticism

Rachel Sharansky Danziger

Dror Burstein’s novel skillfully alternates between Jerusalem of the Prophets and the contemporaneous city, offering a fresh engagement with our conventional understanding of both.

A Tale of Time and Feeling – Amos Oz

Avi Garfinkel

"Judas," Amos Oz's last novel, is in many ways the sum total of the late author's 50-year career.

The Parting Gift: A Novel – Evan Fallenberg

Evan Fallenberg

An excerpt from Evan Fallenberg's new novel teasing out a complex narrative of love and betrayal from the narrow channel that separates the most basic—and quite often, the most base—of our emotions.

The Cost of a Lie, the Value of Nothing

Batya Shimony

A young woman, a celebrity, a sexual assault, a media storm: all very much part of the #MeToo zeitgeist, no? But Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen takes the reader along a very different path.

"I didn’t choose to write in the form of a letter, it chose me": An Interview with Evan Fallenberg

Alex Stein

An interview with Evan Fallenberg on his new novel 'The Parting Gift', focusing on issues of language, sexuality, and politics.

‘For Your Information’: Twelve Micro-Stories

Alex Epstein

Somewhere, in a parallel universe, there's an Alex Epstein who writes novels," says Alex Epstein - author of the micro-stories we present here – about his chosen literary form.

‘A Translator is First and Foremost a Reader’

Akin Ajayi

An interview with Jessica Cohen, who was awarded, together with David Grossman, the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for her translation of his book "A Horse Walks into a Bar."

Eighteen Lashes: A Novel

Assaf Gavron

An exclusive excerpt from the English translation of Assaf Gavron's forthcoming novel.

The Wobbly House

Ronit Matalon

On the presence of Arabic in Hebrew literature

Ronit Matalon: An Appreciation

Yiftach Ashkenazi

In memoriam of the stellar Mizrahi writer who rejected identity politics

A Warm Tale of Human Foibles

Rachel Harris

Yirmi Pinkus reconstructs a 1980s Tel Aviv Ashkenazi enclave that is replete with charming vignettes but detached from the realities it aspires to hark back to.