Last year I started a tradition of having a summer book club. While the regular MKT book club was on summer hiatus, I thought it might be a nice idea to choose a couple of books with a modern Israel theme. Last year we read Yossi Klein Halevi’s, “Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation” and Ari Shavit’s, “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.” Both books forced us to take a deep look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict even as rockets were launched against Israel and the Israeli army invaded Gaza.
This summer I have chosen another two books which once again force us to come to terms with the conflict that has waged since the beginning of the founding of the State of Israel. The authors are well known to each other and to just about everyone in Israel. One is an Israeli Jew, and the other an Israeli Arab. Both books are fiction. The first book is by Saayed Kashua, and is called, “Second Person Singular.” The second book is “Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories” by Etgar Keret and Nathan Englander. Through their fiction they attempt to present the conflict as it affects the individual on a personal level.
I am attaching a link to a series of letters (Part 1 and Part 2) that Keret and Kashua exchanged last summer during the height of the war in Gaza. Their correspondence gives us a glimpse into their world views and perceptions of the conflict.
We will meet on June 21 to discuss "Second Person Singular," and July 19 to discuss "Suddenly, a Knock on the Door." 10 a.m. in the Hazak library.
Click on the links to the books to purchase them on Amazon.com (and don’t forget to sign in to your Amazon.smile account, so Midbar can receive a donation from your purchase).
See you this summer!