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Customer Review

15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but Flawed, 29 Mar. 2004
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This review is from: When I Lived in Modern Times (Paperback)
In many ways this is an interesting read - it takes an original slant on recent history and presents an unusual version of events. I just wanted to add a couple of other comments:-
I found references to holocaust survivors to be very revealing - often viewed (quite understandably) as angels - they are portrayed here as wild, individualistic and tough - refusing to obey rules and share work or luxuries - as a result of the dreadful 'communal living' in the camps.
What has not been mentioned so far in the reviews, and is not really touched on at all in the book, is of course, the Palestinian people. Those who were displaced by the displaced, as Edward Said described his own people "the victims of the victims".
In this respect, the book is guilty of the sins of many older books about colonisation - treating the 'natives' as an irrelevance. Many older texts have the excuse of the historical and cultural environment in which they were written. Grant cannot claim the same excuse.
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Initial post: 13 Jun 2010 18:45:32 BDT
Grant doesn't ignore the other peoples living in Palastine at the time of her novel. There are many references to how the Zionists and the Jewish refugees from Europe treated the land as if it was a blank canvas, when it wasn't. Looking back, the main character, Evelyn, not only realises this but sees it as one of the reasons that the state she had such high hopes for went wrong (and, possibly, was corrupted from the outset).
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