Literature and War: Conversations with Israeli and Palestinian Writers

Overview

Novelist and journalist Runo Isaksen undertook these interviews with preeminent Israeli and Palestinian writers with one key question: Can literature play a role in helping one side to see the other? To answer this, he sought out acclaimed Israeli writers Amos Oz and David Grossman, Palestinian poet laureate Mahmoud Darwish, feminist writer Sahar Khalifeh, and others. In the conversations that resulted, the region's most original voices reflect on the relationship between literature and war: their discussions ...
See more details below
Paperback
$16.15
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$18.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $14.13   
  • New (3) from $14.13   
  • Used (1) from $16.14   
Sending request ...

Overview

Novelist and journalist Runo Isaksen undertook these interviews with preeminent Israeli and Palestinian writers with one key question: Can literature play a role in helping one side to see the other? To answer this, he sought out acclaimed Israeli writers Amos Oz and David Grossman, Palestinian poet laureate Mahmoud Darwish, feminist writer Sahar Khalifeh, and others. In the conversations that resulted, the region's most original voices reflect on the relationship between literature and war: their discussions transcend national boundaries and the narrow language of conflict, and allow us new insights into the human side of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. These dialogues - urgent, humorous, despairing, and hopeful - are themselves a first step toward peace.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

In 15 discussions with acclaimed Israeli and Palestinian writers, Norwegian novelist Isaksen looks at the intersection of art and armed conflict in the Middle East to determine whether literature can play a role in helping one side to see the other. In narrative interviews with writers including David Grossman (The Yellow Wind), Amos Oz (perhaps Israel's most famous), Meir Shalev, Mahmoud Shuqair and Liana Badr, Isaksen examines the obligation artists feel (or don't feel) to help bring peace to the region, the differences between being an Israeli and being a Jew, the likelihood of true democracy in Israel, the meaning of exile in the minds of Palestinians and other weighty topics. The result is a number of sharp insights into the process, promise and limits of art in the face of war; according to Oz, "the conflict is always in the background, but never in the foreground. I don't write to compete with the headlines." A founding member of Israel's Peace Now movement in 1977, Isaksen has been a political player for decades, giving him a firm grounding in the conflict and its literary legacy. This inquisitive guide illuminates the region in a fresh way, giving those already interested a new perspective and drawing in readers who might otherwise eschew modern Middle East history.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal

Editor Isaksen is a Norwegian novelist, active in Norwegian writers' groups, increasingly interested in Israeli and Palestinian literature and curious about whether literature can bridge the divide between peoples at war. Norway's active role in sponsoring Arab-Israeli negotiations and support for Palestinian cultural institutions inspired him to consider the role of writers, as did his belief that connections between black and white writers helped end apartheid in South Africa. In 2002 and 2003, he interviewed 15 Israeli and Palestinian writers to see if they believed that their writing could help reduce the hostility and fear infusing their societies. Isaksen is not as interested in the content of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as he is in the prospect of strengthening the human understanding between two peoples, each with a strong sense of victimhood and loss. The result is a series of fascinating conversations with writers of different ages, genders, and styles, linked by their common experience of life in a culture under siege. Isaksen explores with them their understandings of issues of victimization and dehumanization, personal identity and national culture, and the contribution that literature can make to creating empathy between two peoples in conflict for many decades. This book will be of great value to readers with an interest in literature, and it provides sensitive insight into how writers approach their craft and how they view the social impact of their work in a volatile environment. A solid addition to public and academic libraries.
—Elizabeth R. Hayford

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566567305
  • Publisher: Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,491,494
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

1 What really matters is the quality of what's in our heads Etgar Keret Keret, Etgar 15

2 In morality's catastrophe zones David Grossman Grossman, David 41

3 We have to act as if there is a chance. Maybe Yoram Kaniuk Kaniuk, Yoram 55

4 In conflicts, few people are able to understand the suffering of others Amos Oz Oz, Amos 63

5 Dissension is an old Jewish tradition Meir Shalev Shalev, Meir 77

6 Arabophobia! Orly Castel-Bloom Castel-Bloom, Orly 89

7 A perfect bridge Dorit Rabinyan Rabinyan, Dorit 97

8 Life is much richer Mahmoud Shuqair Shuqair, Mahmoud 113

9 I want to be free Ghassan Zaqtan Zaqtan, Ghassan 131

10 My aim is to survive Liana Badr Badr, Liana 147

11 I write to release the violence inside Zakariyya Muhammad Muhammad, Zakariyya 159

12 We have to be humane in our fight Yahya Yakhlif Yakhlif, Yahya 171

13 Men dominate society Sahar Khalifeh Khalifeh, Sahar 183

14 It is our duty to know about the other side Mahmoud Darwish Darwish, Mahmoud Izzat Ghazzawi Ghazzawi, Izzat 189

15 Or should we do something about it? An Israeli-Palestinian Contribution Salman Natour Natour, Salman 197

Biographical Notes 208

Bibliography 213

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)