Unholy Land: An Unconventional Guide to Israel
Cosmopolitan writing on travel, food, culture, sex, and politics, from some of Israel’s greatest young writers
Part hipster travelogue, part from-the-ground-up look at Israeli politics, Unholy Land offers a kaleidoscope through which the reader will view the country and the region in new light and color.
Actor Rana Werbin captures a slice of life at the Mersand Cafe in Tel Aviv: four friends sipping arak and chatting about bras, one-night stands, and their monotonous jobs.
Ron Levy Arie traces the rise of the ubiquitous Sabich sandwich from its origins in Iraqi Jewish kitchens to its dominance as a street-food staple.
Julia Handelman-Smith writes about an out-of-the way hotel in Tiberius, and a tense trip to Bethlehem with her sheltered parents on Christmas Eve.
Novelist Reuven Miran writes elegiacally about a drive from Kfar Saba to Jerusalem with Ella Fitzgerald playing on the radio.
David Sorotzkin discusses the junkies and squatters he finds in the ancient city of Beersheba amid its sad dismemberment by a spate of overly-utilitarian city planners.
And finally the book’s editor, Ithamar Handleman-Smith, contributes humorous pieces on sexuality, culture, and politics. Once you have read Unholy Land, this part of the world will never look the same again.
Ithamar Handelman-Smith is a novelist, poet and translator. He has written for Haaretz, Maariv, and Time Out. His published works include Where Have You Gone, Arik Einstein? (1999), Dreaming of Junk food (2001) and The British Detective (2015). He has also translated a number of works into Hebrew, including the poetry of Charles Bukowski. He currently lives in Paris with his wife, Julia.
Edited by Ithamar Handelman-Smith
Published by Repeater Books
ISBN-13: 978-1-910924-58-7 / Paperback $14.95 / 254 pages