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Gaza Blues: Different Stories Paperback – 23 Apr 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: David Paul; First UK Edition edition (27 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0954054245
  • ISBN-13: 978-0954054243
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.3 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"...discover the work of brilliant authors from across the world who are set to be the big names of tomorrow." -- Channel 4 online 30 May 2004

"..sassy sketches by Keret give way to El-youssef's comic novella of intifada... a bold experiment...it merits the warmest applause." -- The Independent, 4 June 2004

"Independent publisher David Paul Books has brought together a Palestinian writer and an Israeli author for a unique collaboration." -- Publishing News

"It's a powerful collaboration, from which we are sure to learn something... that we shouldn't be looking for obvious answers." -- Financial Times, 12 June 2004

"Keret has become a cult hero for an entire generation of Israelis" -- Ma'ariv

"The wit, daring, and sheer bloody-minded audacity of these marvellous stories makes it, for me, the book of the year." -- The Guardian June 26, 2004

Erudite and sharp-eyed -- Al Hayat

Etgar Keret is the Amos Oz of his generation -- Israeli critic, Nissim Calderon

Gaza Blues reveals the extent of new forms of narrative emerging from Israeli and Palestinian writers of a new generation -- Exiled Writers Ink

From the Publisher

The writing of Gaza Blues is hard-edged and compelling. Both are exponents of a new generation of writers from their respective communities and they have engaged in this provocative artistic project from a shared belief that their work can and should co-exist.
The authors met as joint contributors to a conference in Switzerland called Fear in One's Own Land made up of Palestinians and Israelis writing about living in fear.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I didn't expect to laugh out loud so often in a book set in the troubled world of Israeli/Palestinian relations, but this is sharp, clever and funny writing at its finest.
I heard the authors on the BBC World Service and found their book as a result and I am so glad I did.
It will certainly change your perspective on real Israelis and real Arabs. It gives me hope.
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By A Customer on 24 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a rare treat. A collection of brilliant bite-size surreal short stories by Israeli Etgar Keret and a longer story, a comic novella set in a refugee camp by Samir El Youssef. Keret's stories are very funny and thought-provoking - a dead soldier keeps on talking to his comrades, a kid plays soccer thinking his German football boots are made from the skin of his dead grandfather and a bored young housewife glues herself to a ceiling. One feels a sense of the dreams and nightmares of an Israeli but the wit and humanity in the writing will make everyone enjoy these stories. Similarly, El Youssef's sharp satire of refugee life takes you right inside the mindset of the Palestinians. The lead character is forever trying to leave his nightmare camp but keeps getting sidetracked by drugs, women and conmen. There is an engaging warmth and generosity towards his hoplesss good-for-nothing characters. Both El Youssef and Keret seem very connected as writers to their peoples - whose quality of life depends on how they treat each other. An intriguing collaboration and a fascinating read. Go get.
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Format: Paperback
Just as Hezbollah and Israel are bombing each other to pieces, I decided to look for a book relating to the conflict. A friend recommended this and I'm really glad I picked it up. It is a collaboration of short stories by two brilliant writers - one Israeli, the other a Palestinian born in Lebanon. They show that it's possible through humour and satire to humanise the terrible conflicts in their region. Their fiction made me aware of the dreams and the nightmares of their peoples. I found it thought-provoking, warm and moving.
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By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
The collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian writers is an attempt to provide some kind of example of creative peaceful coexistence without the identity politics than tends to run through a lot of Palestinian and Israeli literature. The two met at a literary conference, hit it off, kept in touch, and in response to the latest round of violence in 2002 decided to try and make some kind of unified statement. The result is a rather uneven volume, half of which is comprised of 15 of Keret's off-kilter microstories, which segue unevenly into El-Youssef's meandering and less satisfying novella.
Ever since I read Keret's excellent U.S. debut, The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories, four years ago, I've been waiting for more. I was finally able to get a hold of this via an interlibrary loan and was a little let down to see that almost half of Keret's stories had also been in The Bus Driver... Fortunately, those I hadn't read were just as good as those I had. He's a very entertaining writer who reminds me partially of Jonathan Lethem, who writes about surreal characters in much the same way, and partially of some of the Scots writers from the '90s who wrote tons of captivating 2-4 page stories. Just to give you a taste, one of my favorite involves a bored housewife supergluing herself to the ceiling.
El-Youssef's story about a hapless druggie Palestinian refugee in '80s Lebanon shows the mark of truth (El-Youssef was born in and grew up in such camps) and satire. Like all Palestinians, the protagonist is trying to escape his squalid existence in the camps, but he keeps getting derailed by his own weakness -- for drugs, for women, for tall tales. There are always grand plans and schemes that come to nothing.
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