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
PARTIAL GERMAN AND ENGLISH TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only).
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
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
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