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NATIVE: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life

Sayed Kashua

Nonfiction, 2017

Over the last few years, the weekly column by author Sayed Kashua published in Ha’aretz has been among the most widely read and beloved columns in Hebrew journalism. With a highly personal tone fueled by anxiety, and a wicked sense of humor, Kashua has been documenting his own life as well as ours: he writes about his children’s upbringing and racism within Israeli society, about his relationship with his wife and the Jewish-Arab conflict, about Jerusalem and the Arab city of Tira, as well as his travels around the world as a Palestinian author writing in Hebrew, and more than anything – about his love of books and literature.

NATIVE, a selection of columns written between 2006 and 2014 reads like an unrestrained personal journal.


Rights Sold to:

Germany: Berlin Verlag; Israel: Keter; Italy: Neri Pozza; North America: Grove/Atlantic; UK: Saqi; USA: Grove/Atlantic


"Being a Palestinian who was born and raised in Israel, Sayed Kashua is an embodiment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If he only was a little less sincere, perceptive, and talented he would have probably been able to co-exist with himself. Native is a book that will make you lose most hope in the power of national processes but, at the same time, will leave you in awe about the incredible force of humanity, humor, and some good damn writing." – Etgar Keret

“Just when you think everything that can be said about the Middle East has been said, Sayed Kashua brings us this remarkable book. At once hilarious and tragic, rueful and sweet, absurd and insightful, it should be required reading for anyone who thinks they know anything at all about Palestine and Israel.” – Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure

"Startling and insightful. . . . Kashua conveys devastating social critique through dry wit, precise metaphor, and seemingly innocent subjects, while in the periphery the rife racism and rising body count speak to the increasing struggle to reconcile two

drastically different viewpoints. . . . Kashua’s subtly shaded, necessarily complex, and ultimately despairing account of the tensions within his homeland, 'so beloved and so cursed,' is bound to open the eyes and awaken the sympathies of a new swath of loyal readers." – Publishers Weekly

"By turns funny, angry, and moving, Kashua's 'dispatches' offer revealing glimpses into the meanings of family and fatherhood and provide keen insight into the deeply rooted complexities of a tragic conflict. A wickedly ironic but humane collection." – Kirkus

"[Kashua is] like Jerusalem's version of Charles Bukowski. A chain-smoking, drunk, constipated cataloger of life's daily ills, illustrating through the simplest of social transactions how complicated a life can become when the threads of it start slipping away from you. Not so pugnacious, maybe, but just as vulnerable. Just as aware and critical—of his city, his family, Israel, the Arabs, but most of all of himself."  – NPR

"What is most striking in these columns is the universality of what it means to be a father, husband and man." – Toronto Star

"Moving, revealing." – National Post

"Kashua simply narrates, column after column, the impossibility of living as an Arab in the Jewish state. Sure, the columns are still clever and entertaining in their left-handed anti-heroism. They succeed in being symbolic without dissonance or figurative effort. . . . This is among the most justified collections of newspaper columns ever published in Israel."  – Haaretz

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