Dispatches From An Israeli-Palestinian Life

Book - 2016
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Sayed Kashua has been praised by the New York Times as "a master of subtle nuance in dealing with both Arab and Jewish society." An Arab-Israeli who lived in Jerusalem for most of his life, Kashua started writing with the hope of creating one story that both Palestinians and Israelis could relate to, rather than two that cannot coexist together. He devoted his novels and his satirical weekly column published in Haaretz to telling the Palestinian story and exploring the contradictions of modern Israel, while also capturing the nuances of everyday family life in all its tenderness and chaos.

With an intimate tone fueled by deep-seated apprehension and razor-sharp ironic wit, Kashua has been documenting his own life as well as that of society at large: he writes about his children's upbringing and encounters with racism, about fatherhood and married life, the Jewish-Arab conflict, his professional ambitions, travels around the world as an author, and--more than anything--his love of books and literature. He brings forth a series of brilliant, caustic, wry, and fearless reflections on social and cultural dynamics as experienced by someone who straddles two societies. Written between 2006 and 2014, Native reads like an unrestrained, profoundly thoughtful personal journal.
Publisher: New York :, Grove Press,, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780802124555
Branch Call Number: 956.94054 QAS
Characteristics: xii, 289 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Mandel, Ralph


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Dec 06, 2017

I have read some of the author Sayed Kashua's columns in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and also watched about three seasons of Arab Labor (Avoda Aravit), which details the life of a Arab writer who writes for an Israeli paper, i.e. similar to his experience. It was an excellent sit-com although it got much darker by the third year and was painful to watch. (It is on Amazon.) Kashua writes in Hebrew and is says he is more comfortable writing in Hebrew than Arabic.

This book includes some of his weekly stories/essays that he wrote from about 2007 to 2015 before leaving with his family for Illinois to teach at a university there. The essays mostly are about his daily living experiences as a writer, father, and husband. He also recounts in a very moving way his leaving his Arab village, Tira, in central Israel, and buying an apartment in Jerusalem where people have electricity and hot water all the time. His essays are humorous but often very poignant. As per the title, the book does focus on daily Israeli-Palestinian life and is less directly political than I had expected. It is definitely a book worth reading.

May 03, 2016

I didn't know what to expect from this collection of essays. Kashua shares insights both obvious and subtle about his family and life as an Arab writer in Israel. His essays, though mostly brief, chronicle the last decade or so of his life before a more recent move to Illinois and the turns and twists that led him to make such a change.

A great read! Quick, but engaging!

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