Payback by Elisha Porat

Collected Stories by Elisha Porat

Category: Fiction
Formats: PDF eBook, Trade Paperback 
ISBN: eBook 0-9721513-0-3; Paperback 0-9721513-2-X (184 pages)
Cost: eBook, US$8.00; Paperback, US$14.00

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In Payback, renowned Israeli author and poet Elisha Porat stares into the eyes of men and women united by the turmoil of the 1982 War of South Lebanon. Skipping from on-the-line realism to the tender grief of a son rediscovering his father even as he struggles with the ghosts of friends that war dictated would be left behind, it is not battle that unites these stories, but the hope of peace.

These are the tales of those who have no right to dream—but do. One man returns home to find that he can reclaim his love in body but not in soul. Comrades not permitted the choice between home and service to their country rebel in thought and deed. Faced with the impossibility of regaining what was, Porat's characters strike out on spiritual journeys that canvas the darkness and brilliance of their own inner spaces.

A book of subtle and stirring beauty, Payback inscribes the memories of those Porat himself lost on the consciousness of the reader while also placing them in the context of a vibrant culture's broken generations. Without passing judgment on his characters, Elisha Porat has succeeded in bringing to life Everymen who would be recognized as easily on the streets of Los Angeles as they would in Jerusalem. The fact of his nationality is secondary to the universality of his stories, yet Payback retains an innate sense of self. Crackling with intelligent detail and simple strength, this new collection offers yet more proof that Elisha Porat has earned his place in the ranks of the world's greatest storytellers.

An undercurrent of sensuous longing pervades these stories, activated and enhanced by the overarching presence of a stately religious tradition. Due the skill of the three translators, of whom the primary one is Alan Sacks (who deserved his place in the dedication to this collection), Mr. Porat's elegant Hebrew prose formulations have lost none of their striking power in their incarnation as English, and there are sentences here and there in this subtle book that cling like napalm and burn like thermite in the brain long after it has been put down and set aside in the pre-dawn darkness.

- Jason Price Everett for Circle Magazine

Payback is definitely a must have for all who cherish good writing. This collection is a joy to read and deserves a place of honor in any library.

- eBook Reviews Weekly

Another masterpiece from one of the finest writers in Israel today, Payback is a collection of short stories revolving around a variety of complex themes. From war stories to relationship dramas, there is something for everyone in this collection.

What sets Elisha apart from so many other writers is his willingness to expose the rawest emotions with a grace and dignity that honors the memories of the people upon whom his characters are based. Whether he is speaking of a friend who encouraged him to be a writer in "Payback" or the trials and tribulations of a flirtatious long lost love in "The High Glass Wall" Elisha speaks softly, but with a conviction that is palpable.

- Kim Hegerberg