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Date & Time

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
6:00 PM


Seminary Co-op Bookstore



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Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381


Sayed Kashua discusses "Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life. "He will be joined in conversation by Na'ama Rokem.

At the Co-op

About the book: 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 in Hebrew 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. "Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life, "a selection of these popular essays, reads like an unrestrained, profoundly thoughtful personal journal.

Over the last few years, Kashua’s column has been among the most widely read and beloved columns in Israel. With an intimate tone fueled by deep-seated apprehension and a razor-sharp ironic wit, Kashua has documented his own life as well as that of society at large—from instructing his daughter on when it’s appropriate to speak Arabic (everywhere, anytime, except at the entrance to a mall) to navigating security at Ben Gurion airport (in a Citroën that he’d bought especially for checkpoints: “God in heaven, who ever saw an Arab driving a Citroën?”) to opening a Facebook account during the Arab Spring (so that he won’t miss the next revolution).

From the events of his everyday life, Kashua brings forth a series of brilliant, caustic, wry, and fearless reflections on social and cultural dynamics as experienced by someone who straddles two societies. Amusing and sincere, "Native" is comprised of unrestrained, profoundly thoughtful personal dispatches.

Kashua left Israel in the summer of 2014 during the volatile Israel-Gaza conflict. He has been outspoken about his reasons for leaving, largely that Jewish-Arab coexistence has failed and he has given up his dream of change.

About the author: Sayed Kashua is the author of the novels "Dancing Arabs, Let It Be Morning," which was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and "Second Person Singular," winner of the prestigious Bernstein Prize. Kashua is also a columnist for Haaretz and is the creator of the prizewinning sitcom, Arab Labor. Now living in the United States with his family, he teaches at the University of Illinois.

About the interlocutor: Na'ama Rokem is Associate Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. She is the author of "Prosaic Conditions: Heinrich Heine and the Spaces of Zionist Literature" and is currently writing a book on the encounter between two Jewish postwar poets, Yehuda Amichai and Paul Celan.