Friday, June 30, 2017

Visit Israel Virtually - Right Now!

Virtual reality. It's coming. It's here.

If you can't visit Israel, visit Israel virtually. Virtually Israel invites you to experience Israel through virtual reality. So what are you waiting for?

Virtually Israel aspires to bring Israel to life to anyone who wants to explore Israel without flying across the globe. They are a one-of-a-kind Virtual Reality experience showcasing Israel’s most prominent cities, including Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Jerusalem. The project is partially sponsored by the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review of ‘Men Without Women’ by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami. Need I say more? Okay, I will. It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader of Japanese author Haruki Murakami. I have a bookshelf filled with his novels. I just finished reading his latest short story collection, Men Without Women (Knopf, May 2017), which was published in Japan in 2014 and now has been expertly translated by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen. I will proudly add it to my shelf.

The book includes seven short stories, all of them centered around the theme of men living without women. That isn’t to say there are no women involved. In fact, the opposite is true. The stories are really about men dealing with loneliness, even when there are women in their lives.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Interviewed by Bulgarians in Detroit

Recently I was contacted by Daniela Natcheva, editor of the electronic newsletter, Bulgarians in Detroit. Daniela interviewed me about my book Valley of Thracians, my connection to Bulgaria, and the similarities (and differences) between Bulgaria and Israel. The interview appeared in the May 2017 edition of the newsletter. Included here is the interview.

Where do you live now? Have you visited Bulgaria again (after 2010)?  

I was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and moved to Israel with my family when I was fifteen years old. I have worked in many different jobs and eventually ended up in online marketing. My position was relocated to Sofia for two years (2009-2010). Upon my return to Israel I found myself thinking constantly about Bulgaria. My experiences in Bulgaria gave me inspiration for my writing, and the novel Valley of Thracians was the result.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The American-Born Israeli Who Writes About Bulgaria

In July 2016, an interview with me appeared on the Foreigners and Friends website. The website was run by my friend Imanuel Marcus and has since merged with The Sofia Globe. The interview appeared shortly after my novel The Burgas Affair was published in Bulgaria (in Bulgarian).

Foreigners and Friends (FF): The fact that "A Burgas Affair" is set in Bulgaria is not a coincidence, right?

It’s not a coincidence at all. The terrorist bombing at Burgas Airport in July 2012 upset me greatly, not just because five Israelis and one Bulgarian were killed in the blast, but also because I never expected that such an attack could occur on Bulgarian soil. Having grown up in Israel I was quite familiar, unfortunately, with suicide bombings, explosions on buses and at marketplaces. In Israel, everyone is very security-conscious, but Bulgaria, I believed, was supposed to be safe territory. I felt this way because I lived in Sofia for two years and never was worried as a foreigner, an Israeli, or as a Jew. And also, I had been to Burgas Airport so I could clearly picture where the bombing took place.