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The Deborah Harris Agency



By: PINKUS, Yirmi

Fiction, 2012

Received the 2014 Gold Prize by the Israeli Publishers Association

Tel Aviv in the late ‘80s, just before the onslaught of mega-stores. The owners of small family shops seek the good life. But dreams of fast money and luxury overseas vacations collide with reality, leading the novel’s protagonists to a pivotal, ebullient and cruel day at the edge of summer.

This sensitive and humorous novel depicts a bourgeois Tel Aviv family in the last moments of a dying era. Yirmi Pinkus fuses together a wild celebration of vitality with an imminent but as yet unseen demise.

An immediate bestseller, PETTY BUSINESS has been praised by critics and readers alike

Rights Sold to:

Published by:

Israel, Am Oved; Syracuse University Press, USA


"This highly entertaining novel immerses readers in the complicated personal and business relationships among three generations of a pair of lower-middle-class extended families...both of Polish-Jewish lineage...Pinkus vividly captures the foibles of these bankers, beauticians, clothing stall operators, hairstylists, and grocers during an already forgotten epoch: Tel Aviv of the late 1980's...No matter how grotesque his character's behavior, Pinkus is far too empathic a writer to mock them. Even as we laugh at these grasping and feuding families, they burrow deep into our hearts." -- Jewish Book Council

[A] decisive literary victory, a real celebration…the precise observations of Philip Roth, the grotesque wildness of Hanoch Levin and the sharp melancholy of Ephraim Kishon…a humorous novel that is motivated by empathy rather than sarcasm and manages to be both entertaining and deeply moving.” -- Omri Herzog, Ha’aretz

The first few episodes of Petty Business bring Honoré de Balzac’s Ce`sar Birotteau to mind…but Pinkus chooses wisely not to show its protagonists in their fall… [It] is not the grand novel about the end of Israeli petit bourgeoisie but a depiction of its last few moments of grace, and it is a wonderful depiction.” -- Motti Fogel, Achbar Ha’Ir

Pinkus nestles in the memories of an ancient tribe, proud and tall, that once ruled the land, but has fallen from greatness ages ago… And he does it in a rich, lush language…” -- Ran Bin-Nun, Yediot Ahronot