Apples from the Desert

Apples from the Desert


Savyon Liebrecht
"Finely wrought stories of private lives that shed light on a terrifying political conflict."

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Paperback Edition
Publication Date: 04-01-2000

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Foreword by Grace Paley
Introduction by Lily Rattok

Savyon Liebrecht’s intense, lyrical, and emotionally complex stories have made her a best-selling writer in her native Israel. Apples From the Desert brings together Liebrecht’s most vivid and affecting work and makes it available in English for the first time.

With a precision and a subtle ferocity reminiscent of the work of Nadine Gordimer, Liebrecht’s stories reveal the impact of larger social and political conflicts within the private worlds of home and family. She depicts the personal tragedies—and the small acts of courage and reconciliation—that grow from the deep-rooted conflict between Arabs and Jews, women and men, and older and younger generations in present-day Israel. These stories create a finely nuanced portrait of contemporary Israel; at the same time, they reach toward truths that know no national boundaries. As Lily Rattok writes in her introduction, “Liebrecht’s skill as a writer, combined with her perceptiveness, her compassion, and her deep humanity, create a body of work that is a testament to the healing power of storytelling.”

"These finely wrought stories of private lives shed light on a terrifying political conflict. [Liebrecht] is the equal of far better-known Israeli authors like Amos Oz. She deserves to have more of her work translated." —New York Times Book Review

"Savyon Liebrecht is one of [Israel’s] most popular authors. Her latest volume has been on the top of the bestseller list since it appeared, and for good reason. . . . She writes intelligently, without irony or condescension, about ordinary people in situations that reveal the depths and passions of their lives. Her style is clear and accurate, yet her prose is also capable of rising to great heights." —Jerusalem Post

"Liebrecht’s writing is a kind of signpost of modern Hebrew prose. With her skilled hands, she blends the best ingredients of contemporary literary norms . . . a perfectly orchestrated fusion of the personal and psychological with the real and social, in a design rooted in a diverse, lively, and thoroughly Israeli reality." Ha’aretz (Israel)

"Liebrecht’s strong prose bears witness to conflict in powerful ways . . . these dozen stories are also fierce pleas for understanding and justice." —Publishers Weekly

"Liebrecht reveals herself as a master in describing nuances and moods. Her characters represent social groups, but are never stereotypes. Indeed, Savyon Liebrecht’s stories correct prejudices." Buchreport (Germany)

"Liebrecht is uniquely adept at defining undercurrents in personal relationships and in connecting them to larger social forces. She is a first-class writer." Ma'ariv (Israel)

"This book teems not with images or ideologies, but with rich, exciting, believable stories. . . . [These] engrossing and skillful tales take you through the lives of real people, to the heart of their emotional and moral being." —Washington Post Book World

"Apples from the Desert is full of trenchant observations and truly elegant writing. . . . Savyon Liebrecht adds a powerful, inimitable voice to the half-dozen Israeli writers known and admired abroad." —The Forward