Ayelet Tsabari (photo by Sean Brereton)
By Melissa Janae
Toronto-based Ayelet Tsabari has worked with storytelling in many forms: as a freelance journalist for the second-largest newspaper in Israel, a photographer, a documentary film director, and an award-winning writer of fiction and creative non-fiction. Her work has been published in Grain, Prairie Fire, and Event, among other literary magazines. The Best Place on Earth, her debut short story collection, was released by HarperCollins in 2013.
Were there particular themes that you wanted to explore in The Best Place on Earth? What inspired them?
I find myself drawn toward the same themes over and over again: belonging, displacement, immigration, cultural clashes, questions of home and identity. I was a nomad and a traveller for most of my twenties. I’m also an immigrant who still spends a lot of time in her country of origin. I’ve never been able to really let go of Israel and I miss it all the time. So these are the themes that occupy me. I also wanted to explore that sense of tension and contention that is threaded through everyday life in Israel. How easy it is to get used to; how messed up it is that we do.
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