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ebook / ISBN-13: 9781399803960

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‘In these wise, capacious, achingly beautiful stories, Omer Friedlander maps the hidden geography of the human heart like a young Chekhov’ ANTHONY MARRA

‘A beautiful debut by a deeply humane writer. Every story is a vivid world unto itself, intensely felt, and often revelatory’ NICOLE KRAUSS

A divorced con-artist and his young daughter sell empty bottles of ‘holy’ air to credulous tourists.

In a bombed-out Beirut radio station, a Lebanese Scheherazade enchants three young soldiers with her nightly tales.

Ahead of a school ‘Show and Tell’, two brothers kidnap a Shoah survivor from a supermarket to pose as their grandfather.

An Israeli volunteer at a West Bank checkpoint mourns the death of her son, a soldier killed in Gaza.


From the limestone alleyways of Jerusalem to the desolate Negev Desert and the sprawling orange groves of Jaffa, Omer Friedlander’s stories are fairy tales turned on their head by the stakes of real life, where moments of fragile intimacy mix with comedy and notes of the absurd.

Casting his eye, not on the region’s conflicts, but on the hopes and failures of its people, The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land is at times darkly funny, at others quietly devastating.

Reviews

A marvelous new voice, bringing magic, change and surprise without ever losing sight of the human and the real. I'd follow this writer anywhere
REBECCA MAKKAI
What is most striking is how full of deeply felt human experience and authentic emotion his fiction is. Every one of these stories moved me and taught me something I did not know before
SIGRID NUNEZ
As outrageously funny as they are outrageously tender, Friedlander's stories conjure complex and often difficult emotions with perfect acrobatic skill. A superb collection
KIRAN DESAI
Rarely do we encounter a writer so young but also this wise. Innovative in conception, classical in spirit: a splendid literary debut
HA JIN
A remarkable talent. These stories transcend the particular to become intricately crafted fables, each a country unto itself
ELLIOT ACKERMAN
One of those rare authors who can trap each moment in a surprising and somehow perfect detail. A major work - I'd urge you to read it
DARIN STRAUSS
Beautifully written . . . an exceptionally thoughtful writer
KEVIN POWERS
Friedlander imbues his characters with a deeply felt humanity, and his finely tuned command of emotional tenor will evoke tears and laughter in equal measure
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Friedlander's skillfully crafted, imagistic prose captivates and soars. With this collection, Friedlander positions himself as poised to join a formidable cadre that includes writers such as David Grossman and Etgar Keret
Kirkus