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Moving on from Bliss

Hila Amit

Dana, a single mother, and Mounir, a young Palestinian from Nablus, meet in a restaurant in a shabby Tel Aviv neighborhood where they both work. A warm father-daughter relationship grows between Mounir, who is gay, and Dana’s little girl Natalie. When Mounir travels to Canada for medical treatment and decides to live there, Dana follows him, leaves Natalie with him and returns to Israel. Mounir and his partner bring Natalie up, and an unusual family is formed.   

Joumana, an Arab doctor living in Tel Aviv with her Jewish partner, leaves the city when her father dies, and goes back to her parents’ home in Umm al-Fahm. Once again she confronts what made her leave her conservative family – not only her desire to study, but also her sexual identity. Her father’s death frees her from his tyranny and heals her relationship with her mother, her sisters and elder brother.

A girl who is estranged from her strict, taciturn mother falls in love with Oshri, a neighbor, and decides to move in with her. In Oshri’s home she finds an alternative family, and in Oshri’s mother a loving substitute for her own. The story, which takes place after Oshri’s death in a car accident, is a lyrical lament on the death of a partner as she tries to cope with grief and longing.

Jewish Adele is attracted to Tahrir, an Arab girl and the daughter of a well-known crime family, who lives near her in Jaffa. The forbidden, the alien and the dangerous all become more familiar in this and other stories in this collection.

Amit depicts gays, lesbians, Arabs and other marginalized characters. There is much courage and talent in this book – the courage to take on big subjects, and the talent to write about them in an original way.



Vigorously written, with a delicate and precise hand and a rare combination of wit and compassion.

Author Amos Oz


The main strength of the book is the ability to undermine stigmas and prejudices and to undo the process of marking people as “the other.” Amit writes differently about “different” people … Amit’s prose is endowed with restraint, quietness, empathy, much delicacy and a minimalist style … The last story in the book is the loveliest, most complete and most melancholic in the collection … Moving on from Bliss is characterized by a unique and beautiful voice … by the courage to write political-social literature without compromise or fawning, by a humanistic methodology. 

Vered Lee, Haaretz


The trials faced by the characters are serious, and gradually become more serious as the book unfolds. At times, good literature is literature that focuses on critical decisions … It’s been years since I read a book that has a title that is so intriguing, so different … For Hila Amit, to move on from bliss means emptiness and loss. But, for her moving on from bliss also means nobility. 

Nissim Calderon, Odot


In order to explain the satisfaction this short book elicits; the pleasantly tearful throbs that occur at a frequency of once or twice during almost all of the stories that it contains; the response of a number of characters on the brink of despair and grief to Hila Amit’s firm but not aggressive treatment – in order to explain all of these, one must go back to the misleading first impression given by  the encounter with her first book Moving on from Bliss  ... Unlike the masochistic, traumatized approach that has gradually become the trademark of Israeli literature … Amit finds different ways, some of them simple and very effective, to rein in tragedy and the cheap handling of heartache … Nothing here is bombastic or self-satisfied. The characters themselves control the situations, playing gently with the permissible and the forbidden … An empathetic, measured connection is created between the reader and the stories. 

Yoni Livneh, Yedioth Ahronoth

It’s ages since I read such a good and such a promising first book … Like in real literature, the stylistic implement is suited to the author’s goals … I do not have words of my own to describe the delicacy, and the richness, and the beauty.

Nissim Calderon, Walla


The book deserves to be read. It is rich, deep, thought-provoking … It is a protest against discrimination of the stranger and the other, and it sounds a voice that continues to undermine conventions, to jolt stereotyping, and to call for second thoughts.

Orna Lieberman, E-Mago


A lovely collection … Gentle, sensitive prose about life.

Karin Michaeli, At

Title Moving on from Bliss
Author’s Last Name Amit
Author's First Name Hila
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre stories
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2016
No. Pages 191 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Me-Oshri Va-Hal'a
Representation Represented by ITHL