Writer, Artist, Designer
Keter Publishing, 1998
In Alexandria, lovers are real, macho men. Each and every one of them is Alexander the Great.
This is the story of three Israeli gay men who travel to Alexandria - the city of the world's greatest lovers of all times; a city out of time; a romantic old lady that is slowly crumbling under the blazing Mediterranean sun - in search of chance exotic lovers, audacious Pharaohs with their slick, brown, and muscular bodies who smell like the desert.
They are Shlomi and Danny, a gay couple from Tel Aviv, and their Jerusalemite friend, Moshik, an extroverted homosexual who comes from an ultra-Orthodox family, and is thus nicknamed The Rebbetzin, the rabbi's wife.
This short week excursion is filled with strange events and dozens of colorful characters. Shlomi, the youngest Israeli who is madly in love and often a cynic, tells an optimistic and humorous tale, revealing details about himself, his friends, and the enigmatic city that sweeps us off our feet and into its bosom with its ancient magic.
The narrator offers a selection of Middle Eastern delicacies, complete with tastes, smells, and colorful characters that the three friends encounter, who adorn the book with their heartwarming street smarts. They are local lovers who find occasional evening love, old Jews and Italians who do not abandon the city that loved them in their prime, dreaming Palestinian taxi drivers, and half-forgotten figures from Shlomi's past such as orthodox Jews and Christian priests who seek homoerotic pleasures in Israeli parks, newcomers who had to hide their lust and tendencies in the 1950's, and family members who must address homosexuality.
This is a story about passions and satisfaction, about Jewish-Arab relations, but also about the sex markets of the Middle East, and the encounter between Israel and its neighbors that may be amusing, but also may be harsh.
From the Press:
"Darling Alexandria is perhaps the first Hebrew novel that comes close to what may be viewed as part of the gay lit genre…. Instead of lamenting the short-lived and disgusting love-lust that rolls about in the streets and backrooms, the novel upgrades the pursuit of this love into near-poetry. On top of its humor and literary style, the novel's revealing descriptions offer an anthropological dimension, which makes it a rare document for Hebrew literature."
Dr. Yaron Peleg, Man's Way, 2003