Presented by Omer Friedlander

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In his debut collection of short stories, Omer Friedlander takes the reader to the narrow limestone alleyways of Jerusalem, the desolate beauty of the Negev Desert, and the sprawling orange groves of Jaffa, with characters that spring vividly to life. A divorced con artist and his daughter sell empty bottles of “holy air” to credulous tourists; a Lebanese Sheherazade enchants three young soldiers in a bombed-out Beirut radio station; a boy daringly “rooftops” at night, climbing steel cranes in scuffed sneakers even as he reimagines the bravery of a Polish-Jewish dancer during the Holocaust; an Israeli woman monitoring a Green Line checkpoint mourns the death of her son, a soldier killed in Gaza. Winner of the 2023 Association of Jewish Libraries Fiction Award, this is the Jewish Community Library’s selection for the 2022-2023 One Bay One Book program.

Friedlander will discuss the background of the stories and his process, and he will take questions from readers.

Omer Friedlander was born in Jerusalem in 1994 and grew up in Tel Aviv. He earned a BA in English literature from the University of Cambridge, England, and an MFA from Boston University, where he was supported by the Saul Bellow Fellowship. His short stories have won numerous awards and have been published in the United States, Canada, France, and Israel. A Starworks Fellow in Fiction at New York University, he has earned a Bread Loaf Work-Study Scholarship as well as a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. He currently lives in New York City.