David Ebenbach

Miss Portland

Winner of the Orison Fiction Prize

After years of medicated struggle, 34-year-old Zoe quits her office job and moves into a trailer with her boyfriend in rural Maine against her family’s wishes and her doctor’s advice. After all, she has big plans with Gordy, a goateed vegetarian with thoughtful eyes and a job at a yoga studio and, as it turns out, an unfortunate desire to always be in control. But when a late-night argument turns violent, Zoe runs away in search of a mystical beach house she recalls from childhood, only to discover that in order to find it, she must reckon with her past. In electric prose that burns with wit and intelligence, David’s first novel, Miss Portland, explores what it means to give up everything in order to recover who you are.

“A moving paean to becoming the place where you belong...a complex, intimate, and deeply humane portrait of a person whose experience of the world is both alternate and poignantly familiar.” – Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers, Foreword

“In David Ebenbach’s touching new novel, Miss Portland, the ‘home’ our protagonist is looking for is a place where she can be accepted with all her idiosyncrasies and passions….it’s about how one woman comes to terms with herself, her choices, and her own difference in a world that values similarity and punishes ‘originality.’” – Laurie Tobenkin, Washington Independent Review of Books

Buy a copy direct from the publisher, Orison Books, or from Amazon

Also available as an ebook

The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy

Winner of the Juniper Prize for Fiction

“Groups are difficult,” says one of the characters in David’s third short story collection, The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy and other stories, and she might as well be speaking for all the characters in the book. These stories—funny, surprising, true to life—are about people choosing whether to go it alone in the world or try to find a place for themselves, whatever it takes. They travel across the world to meet new people; they join cults and awkward social clubs; they stumble through strange workplaces. There are belly dancing troupes and patriotic theme parks, barber shops and orgies. There’s a whole world of people—befuddling, a little scary, and riding on hope. In the words of author Roy Kesey, “In this striking collection, David Ebenbach inhabits a series of minds that most of us would classify as unknowable; he does so with empathy and wisdom, and often with humor as well.”

“An enormously lovable collection of stories that explores the alienation that most people feel, but attempts to resolve it, showing that in the end ‘We are all the same,’ if only because we all feel ourselves to be on the outside looking in.” – N. West Moss, Best New Fiction

Buy a copy direct from the publisher, University of Massachusettes Press, or from Amazon

We Were the People Who Moved

Winner of the Patricia Bibby Award

"In We Were the People Who Moved, David Ebenbach takes the reader on a journey across America,” says author Jesse Lee Kercheval. “This is a journey you will be grateful for having taken, a book that will stay with you long after the last poem.” In these poems, we wander under the “fathomless sky” of the Midwest, ride out extreme weather and constant construction in Mid-Atlantic cities, “drive the landscape/at illegal speeds,” find our way to airports and shuttered train stations, and sit at the feet of monuments. We discover that, on the one hand, “you can’t choose your place”; on the other, the sky can become a “sudden/open hand.” Author Kelly Cherry says of the collection, “Poem by poem, Ebenbach’s new collection transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. The result is a book of continual brilliance.”

We Were The People Who Moved is smart, lyrical, and full of insight. Spiritual observations disguise themselves in plainspoken humor, and intellectualism gives way to intimacy. This is a collection for re-reading, a book to be dog-eared, underlined, and loved.” – Anya Groner, New Orleans Review

“This is a powerful perception of America with intensity of language and lightness of tone.” – Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books

Buy a copy direct from Amazon

The Artist’s Torah

A Spiritual Guide to the Creative Process

David’s guide to the creative process, The Artist’s Torah, is an uplifting and down-to-earth guide to the creative process, wide open to longtime artists and first-time dabblers, to people of every religious background—or none—and to every creative medium. In this book, you’ll find a year-long cycle of weekly meditations on a life lived artistically, grounded in ancient Jewish wisdom and the wisdom of artists, composers, writers, and choreographers from the past and present. You’ll explore the nature of the creative process—how it begins, what it’s for, what it asks of you, how you work your way to truth and meaning, what you do when you get blocked, what you do when you’re done—and you’ll encounter questions that will help you apply the meditations to your own life and work. Above all, The Artist’s Torah teaches us that creativity is a natural and important part of the human spirit, a bright spark that, week after week, this book will brighten.

“With graceful interpretive understanding, Ebenbach rises to the challenge and finds meaning for a creative life.” – Bonnie Beth Chernin, Lilith

Buy a copy direct from the publisher, Wipf and Stock, or from Amazon

Also available as an ebook

Into the Wilderness

Winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Fiction Prize

David’s second collection of short fiction, Into the Wilderness, explores the powerful and complicated experience of parenthood from many angles: an eager-to-connect divorced father takes his kids to a Jewish-themed baseball game; a lesbian couple tries to decide whether their toddler son needs a man in his life; one young couple debates the idea of parenthood while another struggles with infertility; a reserved father uses an all-you-can-eat buffet to comfort his heartbroken son. But the backbone of the collection is Judith, who we follow through her challenging first weeks of motherhood, culminating in an intense and redemptive baby-naming ceremony. In the words of author Joan Leegant, “These stories are fearless, honest and true. They are also a joy to read.”

“This fiction focuses on the most important human relations, the ones central to our conceptions of who we are and what life is about. Ebenbach does this all while playing to his strength: using the small, the ordinary, the everyday to give little glimmering glimpses of the enormous, the extraordinary, and the startlingly true.” – Eve Ottenberg, Washington CityPaper

“The souls of Judith’s story and each of Ebenbach’s stories about the wilderness of parenthood shine brightly in this lush, honest and beautifully written collection.” – Karen Paul-Stern, Current Mom

Buy a copy from Amazon

Also available as an ebook

Between Camelots

Winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and the GLCA New Writers Award in Fiction

David’s first collection of short fiction, Between Camelots, is about the struggle to forge relationships and the spaces that are left when that effort falls short. In the title story, a man at a backyard barbecue waits for a blind date who never shows up. He meets a stranger who advises him to give up the fight, to walk away from intimacy altogether and stop getting hurt. The wisdom—or foolhardiness—of that approach is at the heart of each of these stories. In “I’ll Be Home,” a young man who has converted to Judaism goes home for Christmas in Miami, and finds that his desire to connect to his parents conflicts with his need to move on. “The Movements of the Body” introduces us to a woman who believes that she can control the disintegration of her life through a carefully measured balance of whiskey and mouthwash. These are stories about loss and fear, but also about the courage that drives us all to continue to reach out to the people around us.

“David Harris Ebenbach is an expert on matters of the heart….he will make you bring a hand to your chest with aching wonder….this is a great book of stories.” – Benjamin Percy, Capitol Times

“Ebenbach departs from the literary mainstream with his uncommon faith in human striving.” – Susan Comninos, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Buy a copy direct from the publisher, University of Pittsburgh Press, or from Amazon

Also available as an ebook

Miss Portland

Winner of the Orison Fiction Prize

After years of medicated struggle, 34-year-old Zoe quits her office job and moves into a trailer with her boyfriend in rural Maine against her family’s wishes and her doctor’s advice. After all, she has big plans with Gordy, a goateed vegetarian with thoughtful eyes and a job at a yoga studio and, as it turns out, an unfortunate desire to always be in control. But when a late-night argument turns violent, Zoe runs away in search of a mystical beach house she recalls from childhood, only to discover that in order to find it, she must reckon with her past. In electric prose that burns with wit and intelligence, David’s first novel, Miss Portland, explores what it means to give up everything in order to recover who you are.

“A moving paean to becoming the place where you belong...a complex, intimate, and deeply humane portrait of a person whose experience of the world is both alternate and poignantly familiar.” – Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers, Foreword

“In David Ebenbach’s touching new novel, Miss Portland, the ‘home’ our protagonist is looking for is a place where she can be accepted with all her idiosyncrasies and passions….it’s about how one woman comes to terms with herself, her choices, and her own difference in a world that values similarity and punishes ‘originality.’” – Laurie Tobenkin, Washington Independent Review of Books

Buy a copy direct from the publisher, Orison Books, or from Amazon

Also available as an ebook

The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy

Winner of the Juniper Prize for Fiction

“Groups are difficult,” says one of the characters in David’s third short story collection, The Guy We Didn’t Invite to the Orgy and other stories, and she might as well be speaking for all the characters in the book. These stories—funny, surprising, true to life—are about people choosing whether to go it alone in the world or try to find a place for themselves, whatever it takes. They travel across the world to meet new people; they join cults and awkward social clubs; they stumble through strange workplaces. There are belly dancing troupes and patriotic theme parks, barber shops and orgies. There’s a whole world of people—befuddling, a little scary, and riding on hope. In the words of author Roy Kesey, “In this striking collection, David Ebenbach inhabits a series of minds that most of us would classify as unknowable; he does so with empathy and wisdom, and often with humor as well.”

“An enormously lovable collection of stories that explores the alienation that most people feel, but attempts to resolve it, showing that in the end ‘We are all the same,’ if only because we all feel ourselves to be on the outside looking in.” – N. West Moss, Best New Fiction

Buy a copy direct from the publisher, University of Massachusettes Press, or from Amazon

Into the Wilderness

Winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Fiction Prize

David’s second collection of short fiction, Into the Wilderness, explores the powerful and complicated experience of parenthood from many angles: an eager-to-connect divorced father takes his kids to a Jewish-themed baseball game; a lesbian couple tries to decide whether their toddler son needs a man in his life; one young couple debates the idea of parenthood while another struggles with infertility; a reserved father uses an all-you-can-eat buffet to comfort his heartbroken son. But the backbone of the collection is Judith, who we follow through her challenging first weeks of motherhood, culminating in an intense and redemptive baby-naming ceremony. In the words of author Joan Leegant, “These stories are fearless, honest and true. They are also a joy to read.”

“This fiction focuses on the most important human relations, the ones central to our conceptions of who we are and what life is about. Ebenbach does this all while playing to his strength: using the small, the ordinary, the everyday to give little glimmering glimpses of the enormous, the extraordinary, and the startlingly true.” – Eve Ottenberg, Washington CityPaper

“The souls of Judith’s story and each of Ebenbach’s stories about the wilderness of parenthood shine brightly in this lush, honest and beautifully written collection.” – Karen Paul-Stern, Current Mom

Buy a copy from Amazon

Also available as an ebook

Between Camelots

Winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and the GLCA New Writers Award in Fiction

David’s first collection of short fiction, Between Camelots, is about the struggle to forge relationships and the spaces that are left when that effort falls short. In the title story, a man at a backyard barbecue waits for a blind date who never shows up. He meets a stranger who advises him to give up the fight, to walk away from intimacy altogether and stop getting hurt. The wisdom—or foolhardiness—of that approach is at the heart of each of these stories. In “I’ll Be Home,” a young man who has converted to Judaism goes home for Christmas in Miami, and finds that his desire to connect to his parents conflicts with his need to move on. “The Movements of the Body” introduces us to a woman who believes that she can control the disintegration of her life through a carefully measured balance of whiskey and mouthwash. These are stories about loss and fear, but also about the courage that drives us all to continue to reach out to the people around us.

“David Harris Ebenbach is an expert on matters of the heart….he will make you bring a hand to your chest with aching wonder….this is a great book of stories.” – Benjamin Percy, Capitol Times

“Ebenbach departs from the literary mainstream with his uncommon faith in human striving.” – Susan Comninos, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Buy a copy direct from the publisher, University of Pittsburgh Press, or from Amazon

Also available as an ebook

We Were the People Who Moved

Winner of the Patricia Bibby Award

"In We Were the People Who Moved, David Ebenbach takes the reader on a journey across America,” says author Jesse Lee Kercheval. “This is a journey you will be grateful for having taken, a book that will stay with you long after the last poem.” In these poems, we wander under the “fathomless sky” of the Midwest, ride out extreme weather and constant construction in Mid-Atlantic cities, “drive the landscape/at illegal speeds,” find our way to airports and shuttered train stations, and sit at the feet of monuments. We discover that, on the one hand, “you can’t choose your place”; on the other, the sky can become a “sudden/open hand.” Author Kelly Cherry says of the collection, “Poem by poem, Ebenbach’s new collection transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. The result is a book of continual brilliance.”

We Were The People Who Moved is smart, lyrical, and full of insight. Spiritual observations disguise themselves in plainspoken humor, and intellectualism gives way to intimacy. This is a collection for re-reading, a book to be dog-eared, underlined, and loved.” – Anya Groner, New Orleans Review

“This is a powerful perception of America with intensity of language and lightness of tone.” – Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books

Buy a copy direct from Amazon

The Artist’s Torah

A Spiritual Guide to the Creative Process

David’s guide to the creative process, The Artist’s Torah, is an uplifting and down-to-earth guide to the creative process, wide open to longtime artists and first-time dabblers, to people of every religious background—or none—and to every creative medium. In this book, you’ll find a year-long cycle of weekly meditations on a life lived artistically, grounded in ancient Jewish wisdom and the wisdom of artists, composers, writers, and choreographers from the past and present. You’ll explore the nature of the creative process—how it begins, what it’s for, what it asks of you, how you work your way to truth and meaning, what you do when you get blocked, what you do when you’re done—and you’ll encounter questions that will help you apply the meditations to your own life and work. Above all, The Artist’s Torah teaches us that creativity is a natural and important part of the human spirit, a bright spark that, week after week, this book will brighten.

“With graceful interpretive understanding, Ebenbach rises to the challenge and finds meaning for a creative life.” – Bonnie Beth Chernin, Lilith

Buy a copy direct from the publisher, Wipf and Stock, or from Amazon

Also available as an ebook