“The Visit” is the best story I have ever written. I can understand why some people after reading it would describe it as “the IRA story”, but it is not in essence a story about terrorism. It’s actually a love story, the deepest, purest form of love I can think of, and the terrorists are really in the story to allow Alo to display his love. The story does have this element of truth…similar ordeals were endured by people I knew, and are being endured all over the world, with innumerable acts of quiet self-sacrifice as a result.
I thought long and hard before I sent the story to The Ilanot Review, a reputable journal in Israel. I was really torn between sending it to Ilanot, where I knew it belonged, or keeping it and entering it in contests, which might win me enough money to pay for a ream of paper and an ink cartridge. It is really, really tough to send out good work in the knowledge that you will receive no payment, especially when a story has taken tens of hours to write. I used to enter a lot of competitions, and I did have some small successes. Getting published in a journal, however, brings you a sense of satisfaction which is a great sustenance in the early years of writing, when you often feel you are writing into the void. Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of sustenance that you can pay the mortgage with, or put in the children’s school lunch-boxes.
In the end, I was true to the story and sent it to the “Conflict” issue of Ilanot. Today, I received word that they have nominated it for The Pushcart Prize!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a realist: I am not going to win the Pushcart Prize, but this is the greatest compliment that an editor can pay a Short Story writer. Thank you so much, Ilanot.
Read the story here…