Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life

9780863561962 June 2016 Paperback 304pp

About the Book

Sayed Kashua has been lauded by the New York Times as “a master of subtle nuance in dealing with both Arab and Jewish society.” A Palestinian-Israeli who lived in Jerusalem for most of his life, Kashua started writing with the hope of creating one story that both sides could relate to. He devoted his novels and his satirical column in Haaretz to exploring the contradictions of modern Israel while also capturing the nuances of everyday family life in all its tenderness and chaos.

Over the last decade, his humorous essays have been among the most widely read in Israel. He writes about fatherhood and marriage, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and encounters with prejudice, as well as his love of literature. With an intimate tone fueled by deep-seated apprehension and razor-sharp wit, he has documented his own life as well as that of society at large – from instructing his daughter on when it’s appropriate to speak Arabic (everywhere, anytime, except at the entrance to a mall) to opening a Facebook account during the Arab Spring (so that he wouldn’t miss the next revolution).

From the events of his everyday life, Kashua brings forth a series of brilliant, caustic, wry, and fearless reflections on social and cultural dynamics as experienced by someone who straddles two societies. Amusing and sincere, Native – a selection of his popular columns – is comprised of unrestrained, profoundly thoughtful personal dispatches.

About the Author

Sayed Kashua is the author of the novels Native, Dancing Arabs, Let It Be Morning, which was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and LExposure, winner of the prestigious Bernstein Prize. He is a columnist for Haaretz and the creator of the popular, prize-winning sitcom, Arab Labor. Kashua has received numerous awards for his journalism including the Lessing Prize for Critic (Germany) and the SFJFF Freedom of Expression Award (USA). Now living in the United States with his family, he teaches at the University of Illinois.


‘A master of subtle nuance in dealing with both Arab and Jewish society.’
New York Times

‘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 Reviews

‘If you are Palestinian or Israeli, Jewish, Muslim or Christian, or simply human, you will enjoy these short stories tremendously.’
Huffington Post

‘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

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

Native is a dark, witty portrayal of life for Palestinian citizens of Israel, well worth reading and enjoying as insightful and stylishly written social commentary.’
Electronic Intifada

'Short, sharp and very funny … This is a superb collection.’
Linda Grant, Jewish Quarterly