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A Good Place for the Night

Savyon Liebrecht
The tension between people and places and a profound sense of alienation permeate this anthology of mature and intelligent short stories, which constitute a collection that is by no means random. One idea informs these stories, all of which contain the name of a place: America, Munich, Hiroshima, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the kibbutz. And there is also a story that takes place in a non-place, "A Good Place for the Night", where the specific characteristics of place have no meaning because everything familiar has been destroyed. In all the stories, there is a physical or emotional distance from home, and 'home' is merely a longing for our place of birth and the people we love. An Israeli journalist who is in Munich to cover the trial of a war criminal witnesses violent incidents towards Muslim foreigners during which the Muslim girl he desires is killed. Idit has worked and studied in Hiroshima for nine years, and is living with an American man. She believes she is part of Japanese society until she realizes that, in the city that symbolizes the holocaust of the Japanese people, she will always be a stranger. Many years after her mother abandoned her at birth to follow her lover to America, a woman meets the lover`s daughter and learns from her that America was not a happy place for her mother, but a nightmare that drove her insane. A young man who grew up in a kibbutz - a symbol of human equality - reveals years later what the kibbutz members did to his parents, and the words he speaks to his substitute mother become a powerful indictment of the kibbutz and its members.

…Brilliant, harrowing, darkly funny… tale of post-apocalyptic survival and moral dilemmas, but also very beautiful. You can read it as science fiction, a metaphor for the Holocaust, or a story of fierce parental love. Just read it!
Tablet Mag

These stories have the dreamy, evocative smoothness of underwater films… The permanent unsettledness of Israel is exported and globalized here.
Publishers Weekly

Liebrecht masterfully interweaves emotional and historical realities to show just how high the stakes have always been in a city that is the locus of so much longing.
Lilith (Germany)

Liebrecht has a very particular, intense and sensitive way of describing the universal starting out from unconventional situations. … Do not miss this very great talent, a voice that whispers.

A Good Place for the Night
Title A Good Place for the Night
Author’s Last Name Liebrecht
Author's First Name Savyon
Language(s) English, German, French, Italian, Slovak
Genre stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2002
No. Pages 260 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Makom Tov La-Layla
Representation Represented by ITHL


English: New York, Persea, 2005
German: Munich, dtv, 2005
Italian: Rome, edizioni e/o, 2005
French: Paris, Buchet-Chastel/Caracteres, 2008
Slovak: Bratislava, MilaniuM, 2010

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