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Let it be Morning [Hardcover]

Sayed Kashua


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Book Description

August 2009 Ulverscroft
In his debut, <I>Dancing Arabs,</I> Sayed Kashua established himself as one of the most daring voices of the Middle East. In his searing new novel, a young Arab journalist returns to his hometown — an Arab village within Israel — where his already vexed sense of belonging is forced to crisis when the village becomes a pawn in the never-ending power struggle that is the Middle East. Hoping to reclaim the simplicity of life among kin, the prodigal son returns home to find that nothing is as he remembers: everything is smaller, the people are petty and provincial. But when Israeli tanks surround the village without warning or explanation, everyone inside is cut off from the outside world. As the situation grows increasingly dire, the village devolves into a Darwinian jungle, where paranoia quickly takes hold and threatens the community's fragile equilibrium.

With the enduring moral and literary power of Camus and Orwell, <I>Let It Be Morning</I> offers an intimate, eye-opening portrait of the conflicted allegiances of the Israeli Arabs, proving once again that Sayed Kashua is a fearless, prophetic observer of a political and human quagmire that offers no easy answers.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books Ltd; Large type edition edition (August 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1847827810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847827814
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Kashua's second novel (after Dancing Arabs) illuminates the lives of Israel's Arab minority. An unnamed Israeli Arab journalist returns from Tel Aviv to his home village with his wife and infant daughter, in search of cheaper living. There, residents flip anxiously between Hebrew news and al-Jazeera to make sense of daily life, and high school students wear both the latest Western clothes and veils in increasing numbers. The journalist's cosmopolitan wife hates their parochial hometown, and when the protagonist finds himself eased out of his position at a prominent Jewish newspaper (surmising that "the privilege of criticizing government policy was an exclusively Jewish prerogative"), he has to hide his unemployment from her. Then one morning, the journalist finds that the Israelis have cordoned the town, cutting off all communication with the outside world. The town is plagued by infighting, mutual suspicion and rekindled feuds, revealing fault lines in the Arab community. Kashua is a journalist for the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, and he writes about the Israeli Arabs' balancing act with knowledge and passion. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–A young Arab-Israeli journalist moves from Tel Aviv back to his childhood village with his wife and baby daughter just in time to be caught up in a series of harrowing, dramatic events. In response to Israels military presence in the village, neighbors and relatives find themselves fighting one another in order to survive. The first-person narrative gives this novel the sort of immediacy often found in YA fiction; although the narrator is nearly 30, the short chapters and fast pace, combined with the memories of youth that his return home elicits, make for an easy fit for older teens with an interest in other cultures or current events. Some words or concepts are not explicitly defined, but are made clear in context. A real strength here is the unusual perspective; the novel relates the experience of those caught in the middle, the Arab-Israelis who are citizens but are separated from many of their countrymen by faith and heritage. The unspoken answer to the unnamed protagonists query about his own village: Who are they anyhow? is hinted at in the unsettling conclusion. A natural choice for teens who have discovered Albert Camus The Stranger.–Jenny Gasset, Orange County Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary and brave voice! July 27 2006
By M. T. Guzman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A young journalist, his wife, and baby daughter leave their rented apartment in an Israeli city and move to the Arab village in which the couple grew up. Feeling not that much a part of the Jewish establishment in which he works anymore, this journalist thinks that returning to what was once familiar will be comforting. The sad realization overtakes him that he is not returning to the same place he left 10 years earlier.

It's not so much that the writing is good, but it's the fact that the words the author chooses so acutely and accurately convey his feelings--the most pervasive one being the burden of an Arab feeling at ease any place at all in Israel. How odd that I should have chosen this book to read precisely during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006. I really feel for the Israeli Arabs who seek a home in which they can feel comfortable and secure at all times.

This book takes a a further and more painful step into the uncormfortable world between Jew and Arab. In Dancing Arabs, the author tread lightly on this precarious relationship. In Let it be Morning, Kashua heads from the psychological problems to the threat of physical harm as well. Where can the line be drawn into comfortably fitting Arabs into the life of the Jewish state? That's the issue this difficult, but engrossing, read is trying to express.

The story left me breathless. The tension was unbelievable as the author drove deeply into me into what it must really feel like to be in the limbo of the Arab-Israeli world. I much look forward to reading more work by this amazingly talented writer.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is It Fair? Sept. 28 2006
By algo41 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Let It Be Morning" is an interesting and informative novel of village life among Arab citizens of Israel. The protagonist is a young Arab journalist who comes from one of the influential and prosperous village families. The emphasis is on what it means to be living in the Jewish state, but there is more to the novel than that. It takes a more general view of Arab family and village life and, more importantly, the protagonist is a well developed character, who I found very sympathetic.

Still, it is important to question whether the novel is fair to the Jewish Israeli's. There are no sympathetic Jewish characters, but the Arabs are not painted in a very favorable light either. More bothersome to me is that the government inflicts great hardship on the village without apparent motive; i.e., it is trying to suppress any Arab political activity prior to the hypothetical announcement of a peace accord, but not only isolates the village, it cuts off its electricity, thereby disabling the pumps necessary for its water supply. At a roadblock, Arab migrant workers are casually gunned down without warning and before they could constitute a threat. On the other hand, as a supporter of the New Israel fund, which assists the underdogs, including Arab citizens, I know that some of the implied criticism of Israel and its Jewish majority is on the mark.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ending Takes Your Breath Away Jan. 21 2013
By Jim Paul - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Good read stylistically. Glimpse into a society that is not all stereotypes. Worthwhile for Arabs and Jews to read. Then to have a dialogue.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid Dec 24 2012
By Gail McDermid - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Kashua has answered some questions I have had about the demographics of Israel.. living through a tense period of conflict and negotiation between Israel and the PLO. WONDERFUL vignettes in a village sealed off suddenly from the rest of the work's. Kashua pulls you into the confusion and disappointment of the crisis and it's resolution.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective on Israeli society June 29 2012
By Marissa - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I decided to read this book when I learned it was written by the creator of Avodah Aravit (Arab Labor), a television show I became fond of while spending a semester abroad in Israel. I imagine this book lost a lot in its translation from Hebrew to English, particularly in regard to language (perhaps I should attempt to read it in Hebrew), but I still felt the voice and perspective provided by this author and this work is not to be missed, especially for those interested in Israeli Society, Arabs in Israel, and the complexity of the region in general.

The place of an Arab Israeli in that complex society is a fascinating one, and I think that this work really provides insight into this. It portrays what it's like to live in a Jewish city, to return from the Jewish city to the Arab village in which you were raised, to work in Jewish workplaces, and be a part of the society without necessarily being a full member of it. This portrayal felt authentic.

At first I had a difficult time placing the plot of the novel in an exact time period. All I could tell was that it took place sometime after the outbreak of the Second Intifada. However, by the end of the novel, you realize that the time it's supposed to take place is sometime around now, and exactly when around now it is does not necessarily matter. The ending, too, is surprising in many senses, and I was surprised I didn't see it come it.

Overall, I recommend this novel highly. Kashua is a daring and brave voice in Israeli literature, and the perspective he provides in his works is truly invaluable.

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