Ayelet Tsabari is releasing The Art of Leaving and will be celebrating its publication with a Toronto Lit Up book launch! Join HarperCollins Canada, the Toronto International Festival of Authors and Another Story Bookshop for this exciting event.
An unforgettable memoir about a young woman who tries to outrun loss, but eventually finds a way home.
Ayelet Tsabari was 21 years old the first time she left Tel Aviv with no plans to return. Restless after two turbulent mandatory years in the Israel Defense Forces, Tsabari longed to get away. It was not the never-ending conflict that drove her, but the grief that had shaken the foundations of her home. The loss of Tsabari’s beloved father in years past had left her alienated and exiled within her own large Yemeni family and at odds with her Mizrahi identity. By leaving, she would be free to reinvent herself and to rewrite her own story.
For nearly a decade, Tsabari travelled, through India, Europe, the US and Canada, as though her life might go stagnant without perpetual motion. She moved fast and often because—as in the Intifada—it was safer to keep going than to stand still. Soon the act of leaving—jobs, friends and relationships—came to feel most like home.
But a series of dramatic events forced Tsabari to examine her choices and her feelings of longing and displacement. By periodically returning to Israel, Tsabari began to examine her Jewish-Yemeni background and the Mizrahi identity she had once rejected, as well as unearthing a family history that had been untold for years. What she found resonated deeply with her own immigrant experience and struggles with new motherhood.
Toronto Lit Up is a three year initiative, spearheaded by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, designed to spotlight Toronto’s writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Click here for more information.
Ayelet Tsabari’s debut story collection, The Best Place on Earth, won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. The book was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book, was nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published internationally to great acclaim. Excerpts from The Art of Leaving have won a National Magazine Award, a Western Magazine Award and an Edna Staebler Award. She is the recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship and a graduate of both the Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University and the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph. Tsabari teaches creative writing at the University of King’s College MFA in Creative Nonfiction and the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education and will also be joining the faculty at Tel Aviv University this fall.