A Biography of a Café


Earlier this year I had the great honour to read at a Jerusalem café-bookstore called Tmol Shilshom. (I mentioned this in a previous post.) I’d been wanting to read at the café for years, and it was a fabulous night.

Tmol Shilshom has a fascinating history. The café’s opening night event in 1994 featured the beloved Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai and granted the café a literary cachet. Since then, the café has become a place for authors to both read and write. Some of the world’s most celebrated writers have graced the lecturn at Tmol Shilshom: Amos Oz, Yann Martel, Frank McCourt, as well as lesser scribblers such as myself. The café is a centre for Jerusalem’s contemporary culture, and one of my favourite places in the world.

I wrote a ‘biography’ of Tmol Shilshom two years ago, and the story has finally has seen the light of print. The piece is called “Book not Bombs” and it appears in a fine Montreal magazine called Maisonneuve. You can find it on better magazine racks in Canada.

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