Ayelet Tsabari is the author of the short story collection The Best Place on Earth, which won the 2015 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. In 2013, she was named as one of ten Canadian writers to watch by CBC Books and in 2014 she was awarded a Chalmers Arts Fellowship. A graduate of the MFA program at Guelph University, Ayelet teaches creative writing through the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph.
I first came to Ayelet’s work through her powerful non-fiction, for which she has won a National Magazine Award, a Western Magazine Award, and the EVENT Creative Non-fiction Contest (twice!). In both her fiction and non-fiction, I admire the way she depicts complex characters and relationships with confident, energetic prose. It was a pleasure to speak to her via email during her recent research trip to Israel.
You’ve been writing your whole life, having published your first poem at age ten. What drives you to write?
I can’t explain it. It’s like love. I feel like it chose me, not the other way around.