A beautifully impressionistic exploration of shared cultural understanding despite the narrowing of borders.



One of Palestine’s most respected writers reflects on 50 years of Israeli occupation and riven friendships.

With grieving family driven out of their Jaffa home after the founding of Israel in 1948, an event the Palestinians refer to as the Nakba (“Catastrophe”), Shehadeh (Language of War, Language of Peace: Palestine, Israel and the Search for Justice, 2015, etc.), who was born in 1951, grew up among a deeply oppressed people under the increasingly “imperial arrogance” of the occupier. In these essays, fashioned like short stories, the author looks back on five decades of occupation through the prism of unlikely friendships with Israelis and sticky crossings between the two sides. Shehadeh’s father was an enlightened lawyer who believed fervently in the possibility of peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, even bringing his son, recently returned from studying law in London, to hear Egyptian president Anwar Sadat address the Knesset in Tel Aviv on Nov. 20, 1977, an experience the author recounts in “Henry.” From this first encounter between two young seekers—Henry, an Israeli with a doctorate in psychology from Yale, and the author, who was trying to figure out his own way in life amid the “stifling, traditional society” of Ramallah—a lifelong friendship was born, though it became rocky as the two Intifadas spiraled out. Indeed, as Shehadeh immersed himself in human rights activism, “politics began to cast a dark shadow over my relationship with Henry.” In other essays, the author chronicles his return to Jaffa, the city of his father—who, we learn, was murdered in the 1980s by an Israeli collaborator—and wonders what his life would be like had his family insisted on staying. Shehadeh learned Hebrew once it became clear that the Israeli occupation was not going to end, and the border patrols and restrictions grew increasingly onerous and terrifying.

A beautifully impressionistic exploration of shared cultural understanding despite the narrowing of borders.

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62097-291-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: The New Press

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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