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Sleeping On A Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel [Paperback]

David Grossman Literary Agency Ltd , David Grossman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Sep 2010

Israel: Jewish state and national homeland to Jews the world over. But a fifth of its population is Arab, a people who feel themselves to be an inseparable part of the Arab nation, most of which is still technically at war with the State of Israel.

In the summer of 1991 David Grossman set out on a journey into the world of Arab citizens of his country. Sleeping on a Wire is an account of what he found. It is about men and women fighting to find a voice, to pick out the pulse of their own identity in a land that doesn't seem to be theirs. He has not written about open conflict. Rather it is a story of ferment beneath the surface, and an intensifying bitterness which can only exacerbate the troubles of the Middle East.

Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (2 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099552280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099552284
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Intelligent, sympathetic, resonant and accessible" (Nick Hornby Sunday Times)

"Outstanding... Unblinkingly harsh, this journey is also, in its sheer honesty and decency, a work of hope" (Observer)

"The Yellow Wind established Grossman as one of Israel's finest political writers. His latest examination of the Palestinian tragedy is of equal quality, sympathetic without being patronising, sensitive to the point of pain" (Robert Fisk Independent)

"A writer of passionate self-honesty, unafraid to ask terrible questions" (Nadine Gordimer)

"A fine, sympathetic book... Its insights reverberate far beyond the Middle East" (Scotsman)

Book Description

A ground-breaking and profundly important portrayal of the Arab population in Israel

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5.0 out of 5 stars very good read 7 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
if you have an interest in this area then this is a must read.
Always a good author and this is another fine example.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good 15 Sep 2014
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and Sensitive View of An Old Feud 27 Mar 2000
By Amir - Published on
David Grossman is an eminent -- if not the best -- current writer in the Hebrew language. In the present book he sets to explore the problems of Palestinians who are citizens of Israel, usually a lesser known aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to people living outside the region. Written in the form of conversations with ordinary Israeli-Arabs intertwined with his perceptive and honest reflections as an Israeli Jew, the book gives a sensitive and fresh view of the issue and an alternative to trite journalistic reporting. Although he paints a picture which may be discouraging, Grossman carefully outlines an optimistic path for a better future.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 28 Oct 2004
By smitmk - Published on
This is one of the best books on the subject. It is an entirely unique perspective on the conflict in the middle east, the perpective of the individual people who live there and try to make their lives work. I had to read it for a class on Terrorism over a decade ago in college, and I still reread it, and recommend it to others to read. A very important book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex and Unsparing 12 Nov 2013
By Eric Maroney - Published on
In Sleeping on a Wire, Israeli writer David Grossman takes on the complicated task of sorting through the complex historical, psychological, and political situation of Israeli Arabs. That is, Arabs who are Israeli citizens.

Even the term Israeli Arab is a trigger for debate. In this book Grossman uses the term Palestinian Arab far more often, showing just how complex the relationship of Israeli's largest minority (about 20 percent of the population) is to the Jewish majority.

Just as in his book on the territories The Yellow Wind, where Grossman examines the problem of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, in Sleeping on a Wire Grossman is unsparing in his treatment of the situation of Arab Israeli citizens. He interviews, he examines and analyzes, leaving us with a book that reaches no easy solution to a complex problem.

Rather, the book is a mirror of the problem itself. A signpost, so to speak, showing us where reality lay, and how hard it is to ignore.
5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A rarely-heard perspective 27 Dec 2001
By Michael Freeman - Published on
This book offers a different perspective on the Arab/Jewish conflict; that is, the perspective of the Arabs who live in Israel and are, in most cases, Israeli citizens.
Each chapter in the book is a "conversation" between the author and different persons (or groups of people). Through it, you see THEIR views of the "Palestinian problem," and it raises some issues that many people don't often consider. (For instance, if another "Palestinian state" is formed, what will the Israeli Arabs do? Leave Israel? Stay?)
Overall, this is a good book. I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to understand the Middle East conflict. I would have given the book 4 or maybe even 5 stars, were it not for the PG-13 language that should have been toned down here and there.
2 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A sentimental journey into the land of half- truths 16 Oct 2005
By Shalom Freedman - Published on
I read this work when it originally appeared in the Hebrew press. Grossman is a skillful writer and propagandist and the work is very artfully done. Nonetheless the work is a one- sided piece in which he makes the Palestinians far more moderate and humane in relation to the Israelis than their own media or their own terrorist actions have ever evidenced.

One particular moment of the sentimentalization particularly offended me, when Grossman sees in the face of an old Palestinian the face of a grandparent of his from the Shoah. Perhaps he should have seen in the face of the descendants of survivors of the Shoah murdered by the Palestinians( Of which there are not a few in Israel) the face of his own grandparent.That might too have been sentimental but at least it would have reflected a true historical reality.
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