I stumbled across the most wonderful story by an Israeli writer, Assaf Gavron. I have never heard of him before and I have the website “Words Without Borders” to thank for the introduction.
Apparently he is well published in Hebrew and is translator to the works of Jonathan Safran Foer (a favourite of mine), amongst others.
http://www.wordswithoutborders.org features an interesting piece by Gavron entitled “Almost Dead“. I’ve just read it and am still digesting. It’s incredibly confronting and gives a real indication of what life is like for ordinary people (in this case, Israelis), living in a state of terror. The fear in this piece is staggering and the questioning that goes along with that fear is incomprehensible to anyone living outside this state of existence:
“Why is everyone so paranoid in this country? Can’t dark guys get on buses with suit bags any more?” says the protagonist in this story. As the story unfolds, the answers to these rhetorical questions are clear.
I am in awe of the subtleness of this author and the delicate way that he has dealt with this complex issue.
According to Geraldine Brooks:
Assaf Gavron has done the impossible: written a darkly funny novel about suicide bombing. In a dazzling display of empathy, Gavron creates two equally compelling narrators, the bomber and his victim. This is a virtuoso work; a pitch-perfect rendering of real Israeli life in all its chaos, energy, humour and terror. I couldn’t put it down.”
This is just an extract from the novel and I cannot recommend it enough. Looking forward to hearing your views!
If you like this author as much as I do then you might be interested in his website.