Orly Castel-Bloom’s stories take place against a background of banality. Time after time the world is revealed as hostile and merciless. In the title story, "Not Far from the Center of Town," Dalia and Avishai's married life in the big city is depicted laconically. "Christopher's Bar Mitzvah" exposes the loathing between Christopher's parents who use their son's great day as a weapon against each other.
In the story "Wonderchild" a successful journalist undergoes an operation and becomes a 13 year old, "lost, poor, but very, very smart."
"Joe, a Man of Cairo" describes a Jewish family living in Cairo in the 1950s, suffering from the hostility of their neighbors. "The Mystery of the Pig’s Head" is a stinging, ironic description of the lives of Israelis living in the United States.
Selected stories available in English translation (for publishers only)