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Pearls in Daylight

Savyon Liebrecht

An idealistic young woman soldier is posted to a community in southern Israel to serve as a teacher in the local school. She is given the rowdiest class and breaks down during her first lesson. A Canadian pediatrician and geneticist comes to a small underprivileged town in Israel where she grew up, and suggests setting up a treatment center for autistic children to the mayor. An ultra-Orthodox woman in Jerusalem visits her homosexual son in a hospice where he is dying of leukemia, after years where there has been no contact between them. A small fair-haired street boy whose life is a constant struggle to survive waits in vain for his father, who has disappeared. An Israeli tourist in Italy looks for the Roma woman who saved her life in Auschwitz. In the title story, a Polish family appropriates an abandoned Jewish home during the Holocaust, after its owners have been sent to their death. The mother finds a pearl necklace hidden in a closet, but is too frightened to wear it openly. Years later, her daughter dares to wear it on a visit to Israel. But no one comes up to her to claim ownership.

The stories in this incisive collection explore the interface between the prosperous center of Israel and its less affluent periphery, from a cultural and psychological perspective. They peek into the world of the marginalized, minorities and the weak. Even after the protagonists escape and improve their lot, memories of the past continue to haunt them. This collection shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that Liebrecht is a master of short story writing.


A genuine masterpiece. … Eminently literary. … The writer and her work deserve recognition. ... When you come to the final pages of “Pearls in Daylight” you are no longer the same person who started that book. You know that what you read is real art - because it changed you.

Il Foglio


Savyon Liebrecht has once again done what she has always done best: Little tales, gems, perfect for what they are. All of them are full of characters who arouse empathy and compassion and an Israeli reality which often tries to crush them. It is as if early Amos Oz meets early Alice Munro with touches of Paul Auster and a light sprinkling of the dust of the Israeli periphery… It is a smooth read … Liebrecht is a superb storyteller … A quality book, well written and well told.
Raanan Shaked, E-vrit

The stories in this collection are a sublime embodiment of the genre of the short story – and this is without speaking about the other qualities of Liebrecht as a storyteller, such as her clear prose style and the emotional exactitude.

Tsur Ehrlich, Makor Rishon

Liebrecht has not lost the high technical level that characterized her at the outset of her career. Each one of the stories in the collection, which are connected tenuously to each other, could serve as an example to anyone wanting to learn how to write a short story along classical lines.

Yiftach Ashkenazy, Mako

Each of her short stories has the feel of a movie. The reader sees the heroes in his or her imagination, the plot is always compelling, and her writing is amazing.

Yael Chen, 


A quality-literature reading experience

Dvora Ram, Kivun Hadash

Heartbreaking and heartwarming short stories. Perfect.

Dana Glikman Dotan,Wordpress


Into the title story, “Pearls  in Daylight,” Savyon Liebrecht crams into one breathtaking tale what the Poles did to themselves in their crimes against the Jews. 

Miri PazMida

Title Pearls in Daylight
Author’s Last Name Liebrecht
Author's First Name Savyon
Language(s) Hebrew, Italian
Genre stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Keter
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2015
No. Pages 279 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Pninim Le-Or Ha-Yom
Representation Represented by ITHL


Italian: Rome, edizioni e/o, 2017

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