Arafat's Elephant by Jonathan Tel

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A stunning literary debut-provocative tales of today's Jerusalem.

"In this land, whoever tells the best story, wins."

So offers the narrator in one of Jonathan Tel's brilliant and insightful stories. Set in and around Jerusalem, now, in the past, and in the future, this remarkable collection introduces us to a wide range of complex characters: some extraordinary in their ordinariness; others lifted form the pages of history; still others with lives given significance simply because of where they are or who they're with at a single moment in time. We meet a young religious Jewish woman who loses herself in thought and wanders off en route to her arranged marriage, a would-be Islamic terrorist who offers assistance to American vacationers, an Internet millionaire doing his military service, a torturer who writes children's books, and elderly couple rediscovering their love in a coffee factory ,and Moshe Dayan while he's having a glass eye fitted. These are stories that will give you pause, make you think, challenge your preconceptions. Stories that, while deceptively simple and hauntingly beautiful, form a rich and complex portrait of a conflicted land and the glorious variety of its inhabitants.


About Jonathan Tel

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Jonathan Tel is the author of Arafat's Elephant, a collection of short stories. He studied cosmology with Stephen Hawking and has worked as an elementary particle physicist. he divides his time between New York, London, and Jerusalem.
Published February 1, 2002 by Counterpoint. 186 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Arafat's Elephant

Publishers Weekly

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These stories will probably receive more attention than they otherwise would have because of recent events in the Middle East, and Tel has performed an estimable service, intriguingly portraying life in a land where, as he puts it, "whoever tells the best story wins."

| Read Full Review of Arafat's Elephant: Stories

Austin Chronicle

by Jonathan Tel Counterpoint, 208 pp., $14 (paper) In the wake of a broiling Israeli-Palestinian conflict that appears to have no end, this slim volume of 17 short stories comes along to help put a personal face on the people now caught up in this maelstrom of tragedy.

Apr 19 2002 | Read Full Review of Arafat's Elephant: Stories

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