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Ayelet Tsabari is the author of the memoir in essays, The Art of Leaving, and the story collection, The Best Place on Earth. She is a finalist for the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction and a recipient of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Award, Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and a National Magazine Award. Born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent, Tsabari grew up in a suburb of Tel Aviv, and travelled extensively throughout South East Asia, Europe, and North America. She is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio and the MFA program at the University of Guelph. She teaches creative nonfiction writing at University of King’s College, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Toronto‘s School of Continuing Studies. Tsabari divides her time between Tel Aviv and Toronto.


Ayelet Tsabari's award-nominated The Art of Leaving

Award History

2019 Finalist

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
for The Art of Leaving: A Memoir

Jury Citation

"In The Art of Leaving: A Memoir, Ayelet Tsabari brings to the page the immigrant experience of being adrift from one’s origins, of leaving home, and of love in a restless search for belonging. Her voice, unfailingly honest, is pitch-perfect in bearing the full tension and complexity of what it is to be a young Mizrahi Jew in self-imposed exile. Tsabari takes you down the path untraveled, one that challenges your comfortable notions of motherhood, place, and home. Charmed by her candour and self-effacing humour, you find yourself drawn into a compelling story of exploration and return that lingers in the heart long after the book is set aside."

— 2019 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury (Ivan Coyote, Trevor Herriot, and Manjushree Thapa)

Program History