find out more about gila's books

find out more about gila's books

Miriam Gil knows little about Israel. Her father won’t talk about his life there or the brother he left behind when he came to Canada. Hurt and angry when he tells her to move out to make room for his new girlfriend, she enrolls in an Israeli university. She falls in love with Guy, a former combat soldier who dreams of peace. Miriam is caught off guard when her visa and passport application are rejected on the grounds that she’s suspected of being a Syrian Christian. In rapid order, the university boots her out, her one friend is killed in a brawl, and Miriam is accused of murder by Israeli police. Despite troubling revelations about her father’s past, Miriam must reconcile with him if she is to prove her innocence, reclaim her life, and hang on to her newfound love.

Excerpt
My back straightens at the word pig. I am used to French Canadians complaining against discrimination in the workplace, in the government, in the media, but somehow Farzeen disarms me with her accusations against a state I’d lived in only for two hours in a taxi, except, of course, I have that vein that connects me with my Jerusalem-born, Arabic speaking father, but I’m cutting him out of my life. Still, as jet lagged and disoriented as I am, that vein begins to pulse. "I really don’t know much about it. I mean, that’s why I came here to study it, isn’t it?"

Reviews of Passport Control

  • Thank you for the excellent read!

    Overflowing with drama, politics, personality, and angst, Gila Green's Passport Control delivers on all these fronts.

    It's 1992. When twenty year old Miriam learns that she is no longer welcome to live in her father's Ottawa home, she heads off to her parents' native Israel to continue her studies at Haifa University. Hoping to find out more about her estranged family, Miriam ends up tangled in a web of old secrets, vengeance, and pain. Green does not give Miriam or her readers the satisfaction of a true coming of age tale. Instead, she offers us the richer, messier journey of a young woman whose search for greater understanding leads to a more honest confusion.

    Green plants Miriam in the Israel of the Oslo peace process, a time and place that highlights her naivite and ignorance about "the real Israel". Green expects her readers to catch up just as quickly. From the Haifa University dorms and dining room to Jerusalem's Old City and a northern kibbutz, Green's writing gets directly to the core of Israeli society. Green presents her characters and their setting in vivid detail, while still allowing her readers to make their own emotional connections to the time and places in Miriam's story. Throughout Miriam's experiences Green weaves a sophisticated commentary on the political and socio-economic divisions in Israel and Diaspora Jewry. This is a tremendous gift to readers who will understand all its subtleties. Book clubs will find an endless stream of discussion topics. Casual readers will appreciate Green's ability to fit so much nuance in a tightly written narrative. Like Miriam, all will emerge with a greater empathy for those who need to live with a complicated past.

    Rabbi Deborah Miller, Books and Blintzes

  • Couldn't Put It Down!

    The key to a good book is when you can't put it down :)
    I just finished your book yesterday. I read 'til late. I couldn't put it down!
    I really enjoyed it.

    Melanie Bloch

  • Stunning Achievement

    Many novels have attempted to orchestrate the impossible marriage of politics and human relations in the state of Israel, but few have presided over that perilous ceremony with the grace, affection, and emotional clarity of Gila Green's Passport Control. A stunning achievement.

    Steve Stern, author of The Book of Mischief

  • Smart, Sympathetic, Admirable

    Gila Green’s passionate novel, Passport Control, is a mosaic of one family’s secrets set against the background of Israel’s multiple, conflicting identities. It is smart and sympathetic, admirable in both intent and execution.

    Melvin Jules Bukiet, author of Strange Fire and other novels

  • Could Not Stop Reading

    I could not stop reading. There is no higher compliment than that. You have captured some truly wonderful, funny, but lunatic moments of a world that you have uniquely captured and rendered with amazing detachment. Many of these pages will leave readers grappling with a sense of their own identities as they left me.

    Mark Mirsky, author of Blue Hill Avenue and Fiction Magazine editor

  • Phenomenal Book!

    Phenomenal Book!

    Alexa, Amazon Customer in Canada

  • Page Turner

    I did find the story to be a page turner and believe it will do well with Jewish readers. I found the story compelling and the characters interesting. The Palestinian character, Farzeen is clearly more complicated than we observe, although hints are given.

    Cathy Tile

Latest Books

Passport Control

Passport Control

Miriam Gil knows little about Israel. Her father won’t talk about his life there or the brother he left behind when he came to Canada. Hurt and angry when he tells her to move out to make room for his new girlfriend, she enrolls in an Israeli university. She falls in love with Guy... 

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King of the Class

King of the Class

Eve and Manny are engaged in post-civil war Israel, but Manny has a secret: he’s falling in love with his religious roots and turning his back on moral relativism. As their wedding date approaches...

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Forthcoming Books

White Zion

White Zion

White Zion is a novel in stories forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press (April 2019). The novel takes readers into the worlds of 19th century Yemen, pre-State Israel, modern Israel and modern Canada...

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No Entry

No Entry

In No Entry, Canadian teenager, Yael Yekutiel, signs on to an elephant conservation program and ends up coming face to face with violence, greed, and murder and the taste of a very real danger for all of us: elephant extinction. The story takes place in South Africa’s famous, breathtaking Kruger National Park...

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