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Let It Be Morning by Sayed Kashua

Let It Be Morning (2006)

by Sayed Kashua

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Another book difficult to rate. It's beautifully written and translated. A frankly unlikable narrator who is a journalist and has moved back to the Arab village where he grew up. The village is barricaded, water and electricty turned off, and life quickly becomes chaotic. The ending is a bit of a twist, turning the whole narrative on it's head. I didn't really like it but I am intrigued and want to read more.
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
This was a slow burner, but well worth sticking with. At the start it appeared to be about an Arab, living in Israel, who exudes dissatisfaction about everything - his career, his home village, the city where he used to live, his parents, his wife....the list goes on.

As the story progressed, I found it increasingly informative. I like a book that challenges my ignorance - and for starters I didn't realise there were Arabs who counted themselves Israeli citizens, and were happy to remain so. This book is all about such people, and what happens when a village is surrounded by tanks and effectively cut off from civilization by its own government, without explanation.

The results of this action go beyond cultural considerations, and there were scenes, increasingly shocking in nature, that reminded me of one of my fave novels 'The Grapes of Wrath'. By the closing chapters I was on the edge of my seat. Beware, incidentally, of reading the 'Sewage' section on a full stomach. There is a scene in there that would make James Herriot's Sunday teatime forays into the nether regions of a pregnant cow look like very small beer.

All in all I have finished this book feeling a great deal better informed about affairs in the Middle East than I was when I first picked it up. As someone who believes the West can learn an awful lot from moderate Islam, I found it fascinating to learn about normal everyday life in the village, where there were wars but generally 'over parking spaces', and where the first concern among many people when the power was cut off was that they would miss the next episode of their favourite Egyptian soap opera. The story's conclusion, though abrupt, provided further food for thought. ( )
  jayne_charles | Aug 25, 2010 |
The protagonist of the novel is an Israeli-Arab journalist. The protagonist has been working in Tel Aviv, but the anti-Arab sentiment gets so bad he decides to move back to his Arabic hometown. Once there, Israeli tanks blockade the town, and phone service, electricity, and water are cut. Nobody knows why. Those that try to leave are shot.

The story then becomes one of those Lord of the Flies-esque 'look what normal people turn into in times of terror' things. There's stoning, thievery, practically murder. The book also adds yet another layer to the Israel-Palestinians conflict. The protagonist and his family, as Arab-Israelis, do not identify with the Palestinians of the West Bank, but are not accepted by the majority of Israelis either. It's an interesting perspective on the conflict. It's definitely worth the read. ( )
  legxleg | Mar 1, 2008 |
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The door gives a terrible screech as my mother opens it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802170218, Paperback)

In his debut, Dancing Arabs, 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, Let It Be Morning 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:05 -0400)

"In his new novel, the young Arab-Israeli writer Sayed Kashua introduces a disillusioned journalist who returns to his hometown, an Arab village within Israel, hoping to reclaim the simplicity of life among kin. But the prodigal son returns to a place where the people are petty and provincial and everything is smaller than he remembers. When Israeli tanks surround the village without explanation, the community devolves into a Darwinian jungle, and the journalist and his family must negotiate the fault lines of a world on the brink of implosion."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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