by Ilana Kurshan

Never at Home

A Good Place for the Night (Pcrsca, $14.00), the latest collection of stories by acclaimed Israeli author Savyon Liebrecht, explores the meaning of place for Israelis living both at home and abroad in an age of airplanes, cell phones, and atomic bombs. In “Munich,” an Israeli journalist covering the trial of a Nazi war criminal eats dinner in a cheap Muslim-owned Middle Eastern restaurant in Munich, where he sees, on television, a German volunteer in a Jerusalem hospital treating Israelis who have been injured in a suicide bombing carried out by a Muslim. The violence back home hits even closer when the restaurant becomes the target of neo-Nazi rage and the journalist, like all of Liebrecht’s protagonists, realizes that he can no longer feel at home. Several of these stories end with an unexpected O. Heney-esque revelation that casts their characters in a startling new light. In “Kibbutz,” for instance, a young Israeli man returns to the kibbutz where he was raised to force the woman who nurtured and mentored him to confront a terrible truth—a truth that only becomes clear to the reader in the story’s final pages.

Continue reading this article…

Already a subscriber? Log in above to keep reading. Or subscribe now for immediate access to the complete digital and print editions, plus exclusive online access to Lilith's back issues.