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New York 1, Tel Aviv 0: Stories

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  233 ratings  ·  45 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
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 4th 2014 by Bond Street Books (first published September 9th 2014)
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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  233 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, favorites
Here's the voice I have been looking for. These stories are captivating and original. With my favorites being: My Wife in Converse; Maybe in a Different Time; This Way I Don't Have to Be; and the ultimate, deliciously devastating: Wait. What a collection! While my enjoyment of this collection was complete-so it's really neither here nor there-the title story was my least favorite and I guess I mention this in case another reader has a similar experience (the title story being the first one in th ...more
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
The love and sex lives of commitment averse young Israeli ex-pats in New York. In addition to the Russian and Persian contributions to Jewish-American immigrant fiction in recent years we now have an Israeli too. But unlike the Persians and to a lesser extent the Russians, young single Israelis can go back and forth between their native and adoptive countries without having to put down roots. An auspicious debut. I look forward to this author's future work. Used copies are available in the USA f ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a gorgeous book.

As I enter the fitting room, I close the door and stand in my underwear in front of the mirror, afraid. I want to feel that my life cannot go on without this dress. It's a beige dress with a white collar. There are tiny white butterflies all over, but you need to look closely to see. I slow down, slow down, slow down. But I can't slow down enough. The moment still comes when I try it on and don't fall in love. Falling in love never comes easy to me. I look at my disappoi
Michael Podlasek Kent
Found the stories to be hits or misses. Loved the idea from the second to last story, My Wife in Converse, that the past does not so much tell us about the future as our future will help us better understand our past. That’ll stick with me for a while.
Maayan K
Mar 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I usually don't love short stories in rerospect as much as novels just because I easily forget them. Just as things are building and you start to get interested there's a tantalizing ending.

While this collection elicits those same feelings, I still enjoyed reading it. It's a pretty sexy book. While the characters are lonely and stymied in various ways, at least most of them are getting some. I liked that some of the stories rather delicately reflect a modern Israeli-American experience, which i
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The first thing you notice about the work of Shelly Oria is her voice: how it crackles, the syntax, startling in a way that’s almost reminiscent of Etgar Keret – and yet, Keret’s voice I’ve only read in translation, which makes Oria’s even more striking. Her original English shimmers with the hint of another tongue in both rhythm and diction, all of which lends refreshing wit to her prose. I cannot say enough about her language, how crisp and rich it is, rife with offhand wisdom, at once playful ...more
Nov 04, 2015 rated it liked it
This collection of stories is a good representation of the mentality of the writer's generation. It has some brilliant moments and strong sentences, but is not even in the level of stories. Some have magical realism elements in them, which I usually dislike, and mostly did here. Many deal with LGBT and alternative romantic and sexual relationships, which I know nothing about and therefore found it hard to relate to. Belonging to a different, older generation, I don't think I fully understood som ...more
Sep 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Thank you to GoodReads First Reads for sending me a complimentary copy of this book!

This is my first review - I never write reviews, but winners are asked to write reviews to show appreciation to the publisher for sending a free copy. With that said, I'm probably not the best person to ask to write a review on this book as I did not connect with! I did not look forward to picking it up to find out what happened next. I didn't like the writing style. I just didn't like it at all. I
Sarah Olson
I really hated the first few stories, and almost gave up on the book. I muscled through because it was harder than you'd think to find an author with my same initials for the 2015 reading challenge. The later stories were better, but I felt like the author was trying too hard to be edgy for the sake of being edgy rather than because the subject of the story required it.
I really liked the prose of these stories, but few of them really stood out to me or are likely to be remembered later. I feel like the author should expand more on the character types that she writes, because many of these stories seemed be focused on a female character who is alluring and mysterious, but very fickle. At least 3 of the stories in this book are about our narrator struggling to keep the love and attention of this fickle female. It gets a little dull with such frequent repetition. ...more
Félise Esposito
The relationship chronicled in kisses was an interesting format, and the one about the painter who left the family had some substance, but as a whole, this is not the book I thought I'd be reading based on the summary. The first couple stories were sex-centric without any graphic scenes, and in most of these tales I couldn't tell whether the narrator was male or female; everyone's voice was pretty much the same. It does seem like there are some good premises that would be interesting if they wer ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In my humble opinion, she has the freshest new voice in fiction. I normally hate short stories some of these were so good I actually reread them 2-3 times. She somehow drew me in with a story of just a few pages! Please please, Shelly Oria, publish a novel ASAP!
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2014
I discovered Shelly Oria at Writers with Drinks, where she read from "My Wife in Converse" and made nearly every line laugh-out-loud hilarious with her delivery, savoring each quirky observation ("He was a man in his sixties trying hard to look French. He smelled like years of garlic.") or cutting mundanity ("She looked at me like I had something on my face, but I knew that I didn't."). I flipped through the book and found deliciously witty lines in "Fully Zipped" ("As I enter the fitting room, ...more
Savannah Jane
Shelly Oria's collection of short stories is truly beautiful prose. Having won this from a Goodreads giveaway, I gave it a chance, not expecting the impact it would proceed to have on me. While all of the stories are about love in one form or another, most of them are about love lost. Oftentimes, what characters gain in each other, they lose in themselves, and this is the true tragedy of these stories. We are introduced to a woman in a polygamous relationship who just can't stay loyal, an artist ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Stories about young Israelis come to the States, mostly. Lot of women narrators, many of them lesbians or bisexual. The best in this collection touch notes of unsurety and longing, while others rely on the novelty of fantastical elements to carry their weight. Prose is smooth, but the narratives often seem a bit disjointed, or playing at it; paragraphs frequently are separated by the break of white space into their own sections of text. Highlighted perhaps by the discussion of such breaks in poe ...more
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, 2016
This didn't feel so much like short stories as it felt like a book of samples. Most of these stories felt unfinished, like Shelly Oria wrote bits and pieces of stories, sometimes the beginning, but sometimes more like a random, completed scene, and then put them together in a binder for her publisher saying "here are ideas of what i could write about, pick one for me to expand on" and they just published the binder. It felt a lot like my fic folder, actually.
Which is not to say it was bad, i act
Jake Goretzki
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
[C/o City Lights]

Plenty of rewarding moments, but often a little flat.

The Israeli-emigre-in-the-US angle gives it an interesting edge and explores a dilemma that many will have heard of - and that's novel enough. Of the stories, The 'Disneyland of Albany' is the strongest, I thought. I really like the tension between the parents played out by the child and there's a satisfying resolution of sorts. Political, yeah. Some fun exercises too in the mild surreal ('The Beep'). 'None the Wiser' was als
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I felt distinctly ambivalent, I guess. I love the jangly openness of the sentences and the fluidity of the characters' sexual identities here, as well as Oria's notion that we can all...sort of reinvent ourselves, except that we keep dragging things behind us--concepts, visions of who we are or were. But what bugged me was the short-story bits--those little nibbles at you where you could feel Thematic Points being tallied, with a line of dialogue that a person wouldn't say but that Illuminate Th ...more
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oria's collection is a joy to read, an astonishing, exciting, intelligent debut.

Usually, what I look for in stories is characters who feel alive to me. Oria's characters live in a new way, almost as if they are one step ahead of the language that manifests them, coming off the page, reaching for connection. The characters ask of you, too, and the moments that you meet them refract with a  complicated light, humor and sadness and seduction and withdrawal, all at once. A parting of veils. Oria's s
Lauren Nisbet
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I always feel slightly cheated when I read short story collections. It’s like just when I get settled in and ready to enjoy my reading experience it gets cut off and I’m left confused and unsatisfied – it’s very frustrating. I also find it difficult to review collections because short stories should really stand on their own – a story is written by itself and exists within its own universe, but things get confused when a story is pushed up against other, similar universes. Suddenly its like the ...more
Michael Lipsey
Feb 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
Only the greatest writers, like Isaac Singer, Borges or Kafka, manage to bring off Magic Realism. The problem is that if you solve every situation by jumping to some other reality, the reader loses interest in the development of the characters. A Kafka transcends this by thinking up a story so compelling you go along with the improbability. Shelly Oria is a pretty good writer's writer, but no Kafka. The stories turn around sex/love situations that are always exercises in failure and frustration. ...more
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 out of 5.
I just wish I could've related to or enjoyed more of the stories in the collection, overall. For the most part, I found myself skimming - because there was little new or engaging here. The stories are well-written, although they wear their author's Israeli identity aggressively at times, but they felt like pieces from a club I haven't been invited to yet: the New York (specifically Brooklyn) young-writer "scene". I'm a young writer in New York and am certainly part of the literary
Dubi Kanengisser
Jun 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
I struggled finishing even the first story, and couldn't bring myself to finish the second one, and skimming some of the other stories, decided this just isn't worth my time.

I should've known, really. I thought maybe I'd find something to relate to here, that I would see myself in these Israeli immigrant characters. But of course I didn't. Because the characters are not Israeli. They're Tel-Avivian, and they capture so well what I can't stand about so-called Tel-Avivian life.

And the writing styl
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
On the line level Shelly Oria is a great writer; I found myself marking several passages, but only in a few of her stories. Her narratives start out strong but the endings are weak and inconclusive, which is possibly meant to be a reflection of her characters' approach to resolving or not resolving their situations. Several of the stories have bizarre science fiction elements that never quite clicked for me, and while the strength of her writing kept me going, I definitely skimmed through a larg ...more
Anna Beach
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
These are well-written. My complaints are largely to do with the fact that I don't love love love short stories, and that some felt slightly repetitive to me. One of the pieces, entitled 'We, The Women,' did really resonate with me and I would recommend that to anyone as an interesting take on women in modern American society. Wasn't too jazzed that all of the dialogue was incorporated in a stream-of-consciousness style (no quotation marks, no indentations), but otherwise thought the design of t ...more
Ru Corder
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A beautifully written collection of short stories exploring the relationship between New York City and Tel Aviv Israel, mostly through the eyes of immigrants from the latter to the former. Sexuality and gender are written in a pleasantly fluid manner, yet never the focus of the stories, only a side note to the emotions and relationships of the characters.
Almost every story left me wishing it wasn't over quite yet, and part of a full novel.
Avalina Kreska
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelly sure knows how to take out your heart, stamp on it a few times and then, if that still isn't enough pain, she might like to piss on it too... Reading New York 1 Tel Aviv 0 was excruciating but well written, the characters believable and far too memorable - I read a few more stories but couldn't bear any more anguish!! Saying that, she is a fine writer but like plain chocolate - only one chunk at a time is bearable. :-)
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is a Goodreads first reads review:
I did not appreciate this book, in fact i struggled to finish it.
the book is divided into several stories and they all seems incomplete to me, i do not understand the message the author is trying to convey through the lives of his characters.
i tried very hard to love it, sorry .
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I didn't connect with any of these stories or the characters in them. As an Israeli American, I thought this book would appeal to me, perhaps speak to me as only someone else with a similar background might, but the lives in these stories are nothing like mine, and not in a way where those differences made me at all interested in knowing more about them.
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Shelly Oria was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Israel. Her short story collection, New York 1, Tel Aviv 0, came out from FSG and Random House Canada in November 2014. Shelly's fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, McSweeney's, fivechapters, and Electric Lit's Recommended Reading among other places, and won the Indiana Review Fiction Prize, a Sozopol Fiction Seminars Fellowship in Bulgaria, ...more