-Katherine Anne Porter Prize Winner in Fiction-
"For decades now, Alice Munro has been the gold standard for short story writers… So when I say that some of the stories in Tehila Lieberman’s 'Venus In The Afternoon' remind me of Munro’s latest collection, I’m talking about a seriously gifted writer."
... By Ed Siegel, WBUR.ORG, NPR Radio from 'Tehila Lieberman Arrives. Go Ask Alice'.
Photo by Natalie Schmitt-Nardin
October 10, 2020
Tehila's short story "Bedtime Story" has won Second Prize in the
Bristol Short Story Prize contest.
Selected from over 2700 international submissions, the top 20 shortlisted stories have been published in the Bristol Short Story Prize anthology.
Click here to be purchase your copy today
Venus In The Afternoon
Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Literary Fiction
The short stories in this rich debut collection embody in their complexity Alice Munro’s description of the short story as “a world seen in a quick, glancing light.” In chiseled and elegant prose, Lieberman conjures wildly disparate worlds. A middle aged window washer, mourning his wife and an estranged daughter, begins to grow attached to a young woman he sees through the glass; a writer, against his better judgment, pursues a new relationship with a femme fatale who years ago broke his heart; and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor struggles with the delicate decision of whether to finally ask her aging mother how it was that she survived.
It is all here—the exigencies of love, of lust, the raw, unlit terrain of grief. Whether plumbing the darker depths or casting a humorous eye on a doomed relationship, these stories never force a choice between tragedy and redemption, but rather invite us into the private moments and crucibles of lives as hungry and flawed as our own.
"A bountiful, confident book. Tehila Lieberman trusts her readers to discover that these carefully wrought stories about love, loss, illness, betrayal, all the stuff of life — are also about destiny, and the impossibility of avoiding your fate."
Edith Pearlman, author of Binocular Vision and Recipient of 2011 National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award.
"Each story in Tehila Lieberman's collection takes the reader on a journey to new and unexpected territory. Lieberman's ability to bring so many places and such a wide variety of characters to life is amazing..
Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection and Insignificant Others
Debut Novel now available for representation
The Last Holy Man
In 1972, in a hot mess tent just outside of Danang, Vietnam, David Fein, a young chaplain, stands alongside his Commander as 15 pregnant Vietnamese women file in. One by one the women identify their soldiers. The last woman, clearly terrified, stands motionless, unable to identify anyone. Realizing that his commander is going to save these women, but that this one will be left behind, David risks his chaplaincy to do what he feels is morally right and steps forward saying, “I am the father.”
This decision, and the secret he has kept from his wife, haunt him for the next twenty-three years until he receives an unexpected letter. That woman's daughter, whom he lifted onto a helicopter in 1972, is now a bright and feisty twenty-three year old in search of answers to her many questions about the war. Her entry into David and his wife Rebecca’s lives at a particularly fraught time disrupts the fragile balance between them. At its core, the novel asks, is the moral choice always the right choice? What consititues loyalty and what betrayal? What do we truly owe one another and finally, what constitutes a family?