The Art of Leaving: A Memoir


(Thank you, HarperCollins via NetGalley, for the free digital copy to review. All opinions are my own.)

The Art of Leaving: A Memoir by Ayelet Tsabari

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: February 19, 2019

Length: 336 pages


To be honest, so much of this book read like a novel; I had to keep reminding myself that this was a memoir! Told in short stories, each chapter can stand alone, yet they ultimately all weave together to tell Tsabari’s fuller story.

Tsabari is an Jewish-Yemeni whose father suddenly dies when she’s 10-years-old. Because of her father’s death, she has always felt a sense of displacement in the world. After completing two mandatory years with the Isreal Defense Forces, she leaves her home country and embarks on a journey all around the world – the US, Canada, India, and Europe. While traveling, she continually meditates on themes of grief, home, belonging, and relationships, which later becomes the same themes of this book.

Tsabari’s writing is lyrical, poetic, and so relatable. Her use of metaphors is perfectly executed, painting a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. While her life experiences are not relevant to my personal experiences in any way, her writing made me feel like I had experienced some of these things firsthand. I loved learning about life in Tel Aviv – an area of the world I have little understanding of. I had not previously heard of Tsabari, but I’ve since learned she a very prolific writer. I’m definitely interested in reading another of her essay collections, The Best Place on Earth: Stories.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has stuck with me since I finished it. If you love memoir and themes of displacement and grief, then I’d highly recommend giving this book a shot!



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