The Best Place on Earth in Hebrew (and other news)

I have not blogged in ages, but I have the best excuse. I’ve been writing! I’ve been hard at work on my memoir in essays. In fact, it is near finished. Which, of course, leads to a myriad of new anxieties. It just never stops, does it? I’ve been so consumed with work that I neglected to write about the amazing month I spent in Israel this June, launching my book with Am Oved. Am Oved has been my dream publisher ever since I was a little kid. I love their little books, with the red stamp on the top corner,…

Judging Event’s Creative Nonfiction Contest

In 2007, I submitted a nonfiction piece about my time in the army called “You and What Army” to Event‘s Creative Nonfiction contest. I was a couple of months into my year at SFU’s Writer’s Studio, new to writing in English, and my teacher, Wayde Compton, encouraged me to submit. When I found out a few months later that I was one of three winners, I could hardly believe it. It was like a dream. It was the biggest thing that ever happened to me as a writer. I remember taking the prize money to my favourite store on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver, Banshee (which no longer…

Jewish Book Festival in Vancouver

I have done a little bit of touring this fall. In the beginning of the month I participated in The Wild Writers Festival in Waterloo, whereI took part in an amazing panel on diversity with Jael Richardson and Tasneem Jamal. I just loved talking to these two intelligent, talented women. Then, just yesterday, I came back from The Jewish Book Festival in Vancouver. I had a blast. In the photo, I am standing with some of the other festival authors, including famed Israeli novelist Assaf Gavron (far right), whom I enjoyed meeting at the reception. I am still sometimes surprised that I no longer live in…

CBC Books’ List of 12 Amazing Canadian Short Story Collections

I don’t have time to write anything profound, but this crazy thing happened last month. CBC Books included The Best Place on Earth on their list of 12 Amazing Canadian Short Story Collections, alongside some of my favourite short story collections, and … you know, a Nobel prize winner, a Giller prize winner, and Margaret Atwood. I am still blown away by this.    

Book Tour in Italy

In June I travelled to Italy for my first ever foreign book tour. And it was amazing. It was amazing because, well, it was Italy in June. And because on my first night, at my book launch in Parma, I got to see a dear old friend I hadn’t seen in twenty years, not since our crazy days in Goa. Because everywhere I went I met readers who loved the book and had intelligent, thoughtful things to say about it. Because of the food, and the sunshine, and the wine. Because most of my events took place outside, in various…

Cover girl and other news

So, today I went to pick up the mail and was startled by the magazine I was holding, Jewish Book World, which had my face staring right back at me. And it’s big. Unphotoshoped, fucked-up tooth and frizzy hair big. Inside, there’s a lovely review of my book, a write-up about the award and my essay, “Keeping Promises.” *** More news. I wrote something in HEBREW!!! I know. It’s been so long that I was saddened to discover that I’ve now reversed my sense of insecurity to my mother tongue! It wasn’t easy to write this piece. My words felt…

The Best Place on Earth is going to Italy

In two weeks The Best Place on Earth (or as it is called in Italy,Il posto migliore del mondo) is going to Italy for an eight-day tour. In addition to the recent publication of the book by Nuova Editrice Berti, my story, “Brit Milah,” has also been translated and included in an anthology of stories about motherhood published by Einaudi. It’s going to be hectic and fast-paced and I just can’t wait!  Here’s where you can find me if you happen to be in that part of the world: June 25, 7:00 pm, Parma I’ll be launching the book in…

The Best Place on Earth wins the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

Since I can’t seem to get my act together and write about how my life changed entirely over the past few weeks, since winning the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, I am posting some photos from the award ceremony. The gala took place in the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York on May 7, 2015. My mother flew in from Israel with one of my brothers, and my other brother came from Montreal. Sean’s aunt arrived from Vancouver and my agents, Kim Witherspoon and David Forrer (AKA miracle workers), were there too. The day before, on the way to the…