Magazine article New Internationalist

Gaza Blues: Different Stories

Magazine article New Internationalist

Gaza Blues: Different Stories

Article excerpt

Gaza Blues Different Stories Samir EI-Youssef and Etgar Keret (David Paul Books, ISBN o 9540542 4 5)

Israeli Etgar Keret and Palestinian Samir EI-Youssef met at a conference in Switzerland called 'Fear in One's Own Land'. Motivated by a desire to show that literature can bridge political divides they have produced a joint volume of stories, Gaza Blues, a sharp and satirical consideration of their shared dilemmas.

Etgar Keret's contribution is 15 stories, each a glimpse into a surreal world of extreme stress and anxiety. In Keret's Israel, roadblocks and lost dogs coexist as everyday problems, and the son of the head of Mossad believes that his father owns an earth-moving business. In 'Surprise Egg', a suicide bomber's victim is revealed to have had terminal cancer and the pathologist ponders whether this knowledge will ease or exacerbate her husband's grief. Keret's characters operate on a consistent, if skewed, logic, and their behaviour is a sensible response to an insane state of affairs. …

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