Synopses & Reviews
Sharply observed, beautifully rendered stories about gender, sexuality, and nationality by a fresh new voice.
The stories in New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 speak to a contemporary generation and explore the tension between an anonymous, globalized world and an irrepressible lust for connection. The result is an intimate document of niche moments, when relationships either run their course, take flight, or enter holding patterns.
The characters in this collection are as intelligent and charming as they are lonely. In some stories, realistic urges materialize in magical settings: a couple discovers the ability to stop time together; another couple lives in an apartment where only one of them can hear a constant beeping, while the other must try to believe. In other stories, a nameless voice narrates the arc of a love affair through a list of the couples best and worst kisses; a father leaves his daughter in Israel to pursue a painting career in New York; and a sex worker falls in love with the Israeli photographer who studies her. The stories in this ambitious and exciting debut share a prevailing sense of existential strangeness, otherworldliness, and the search to belong, while the altering of time and space and memory creates unexpected magic. And yet there is something entirely familiar about the experiences of these characters, who are so brilliantly and subtly rendered by Shelly Oria's capable mind.
“These are dazzling and daring stories from the extraordinary Shelly Oria, a writer I was thrilled to discover. Oria captures her characters at their most vulnerable, exposing their true natures in flashbulb bursts of surprising, exhilarating action. Shes got style to burn, obsidian wit, and a deep feeling for the subterranean choreography between peoples day-lit and shadow selves. In New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, Oria makes exquisite music out of the fragility of human relationships.”
—Karen Russell, author of Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Swamplandia!
“The dangerous, ambitious, and cosmopolitan women who dominate the pages of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 break hearts indiscriminately—female hearts, male hearts, sometimes both at once. Likewise the wit, sparkling intelligence, and sensitivity of Shelly Orias story collection will seduce you, abandon you, and leave you craving more.”
—James Hannaham, author of God Says No “Shelly Orias acutely feelingful stories about the beautifully confusing love lives of the post-gender generation are wonderworks of candor and grace. In warm, intimate voices,Ms. Orias narrators young, wisdom-rich, often bicontinental—struggle winningly with longing and loss. If you want to know how the new human heart feels and sounds right this very instant, this is the only book youll need.”
—Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way
“Shelly Orias sparkling stories of busted love, tentative lust, and international identity can come at you in pieces: they can be structured in fragments, numbered like lists, broken up like a dotted line. Inevitably, though, they reassemble by the time shes done with them, which ensures that you wont be done with them for a while—theyll stay with you, gently insistent, pressing on your mind from all directions.”
—Ben Greenman, author of The Slippage and Mo' Meta Blues "Shelly Oria is a true Romantic. Her debut collection contains heartache, longing, and three-ways. New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 is touching and funny and insightful. The desire to find a home, whether with a person or in a place, haunts this wonderful collection. These stories reminded me of the subtle melancholy so present in writers like John Cheever and Jhumpa Lahiri. Shelly Oria is a gifted new writer." —Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in Silver “Reading New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 is like getting all the best passport stamps— its your ticket to the uncharted worlds of the most fraught and fascinating characters in contemporary fiction. Shelly Orias writing has everything: insights that will grab you by the throat; a voice thats wholly, disarmingly original; and a heart that fills and throbs and bursts. These stories will astonish you.” — Diana Spechler, author of Who by Fire and Skinny “Fierce, funny, and utterly captivating, every story in this superb collection rings with aching truth about our strange, sad world and all the wonder and beauty there is to behold within it. By turns tender and provocative, Shelly Oria writes with great compassion and stunning grace about fear and failure, loss and longing, isolation and intimacy.” — Aryn Kyle, author of Boys and Girls Like You and Me and The God of Animals “Shelly Orias gorgeous stories pass over and through borders between nations, genders, and bodies, all the while fully aware of the contradictions contemporary culture presents.” — Samantha Hunt, author of The Invention of Everything Else
“Trying to fi gure out what an Israeli is, who an Israeli is in America, who the ones are who go back and forth, the devastatingly observant Shelly Oria takes us to Brooklyn and Manhattan, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and, in one of the most memorable of these stories, Albany! Searching to describe her tone, her laugh-out-loud originality, and her (mostly young) deliciously mixed- up, love-addicted, often-rueful characters, Id say fresh— yes, fresh as the brilliant shock of new paint.” — Honor Moore, author of The Bishops Daughter “How can a voice be so direct and yet so delicate? In New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, Shelly Oria tenderly lays out the truth about human beings, creatures so intelligent they are able to outwit themselves most of the time. Orias stories also reveal the rare moments when we humans find ourselves on the verge of transcendent revelation. But the heart of Orias gift is her language: seductive, precise, and—over and over—startlingly beautiful.” — Nelly Reifler, author of Elect H. Mouse State Judge “Shelly Oria has written a fiercely original, sharp and stunning collection. New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 perfectly illuminates the breadth of lifes complexities, is insightful throughout, and is funny when you least expect it.” — Alison Espach, author of The Adults
“In New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, Shelly Oria shows us the parts of ourselves that we most fear. And by rendering their brokenness, loneliness, and magic so tenderly, she shows us how to be tender. With her unflinching gaze, she shows us how to see.” — Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart “Whether in cooking classes or eye clinics or blood banks or fitting rooms, whether amidst time stoppages or amidst sounds that only one person can hear, Shelly Orias characters are utterly original. New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 is wondrous, wise, a dazzling debut.” — Joshua Henkin, author of The World Without You
“With their dark honesty, these are stories tuned in to the endless and extravagant strangeness of the world. Shelly Oria has a wonderful range of methods for dazzling us, and New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 marks the arrival of a wildly talented writer.” —Joan Silber, author of Ideas of Heaven
Enter the world of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0
, where the characters are as intelligent and charming as they are lonely. A couple discovers the ability to stop time together; another couple lives with a constant loud beeping in their apartment, though only one of them can hear it. A father leaves his daughter in Israel to pursue a painting career in New York; a sex worker falls in love with the Israeli photographer who studies her.
Together these stories explore the tension between an anonymous, globalized world and an irrepressible lust for connection — they form an intimate document of niche moments between characters who are so brilliantly, subtly, and magically rendered by Shelly Oria's capable hands.
About the Author
Shelly Oria was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Israel. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeneys, TriQuarterly, and Quarterly West, among other places, and has won a number of awards, including the Indiana Review Fiction Prize. She curates the series Sweet! Actors Reading Writers in the East Village and teaches fiction at Pratt Institute, where she also codirects the Writers Forum.