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The Book of Gaza: A City in Short Fiction…
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The Book of Gaza: A City in Short Fiction (Reading the City)

by Atef Abu Saif

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In the introduction it's said:
This book seeks to paint a portrait of Gaza through the eyes of its writers, as a city different to the one presented in the media. Gaza is a city like all cities by the sea, where people relax on the beach, where streets have names and the coffee shops their patrons. People love and hate, they are filled with desires and wracked with concerns. They live on a remorseless stretch of land, in a reality that tries to kill their desire to live, yet they do not tire of loving life, as long as there is a way to do so.
This book contains ten short stories which take place in Gaza. Each story is of a different nature even though they have a lot in common.

In A Journey in the Opposite Direction the author is telling us how people would like to leave Gaza and on the other hand how people try to return. It shows us like imprisoned the habitants are feeling, how impossible it is to cross the border either way and how in the end people turn down the desire of an escape or a re-enter and accept the way it is.

The Cloak of the Sea is the story of a young girl who abruptly has to learn that the freedom of an untroubled childhood has ended and even though she is still in her adolescence where the boys still are enjoying a kind of light-heartedness she feels like being dead.

Red Lights shows how one can be able to share the little one has with others who possess less.

The Whore of Gaza is philosophising about the life of women in Gaza and in particular about her life and her situation. She preserves what she has accomplished but it also is aware of a time limit.

A White Flower for David is the story of a special kind of friendship between a Jew and a Muslim which is leading from care to hate and shows how the feelings among the people are boiling.

Dead Numbers and When I Cut Off Gaza's Head are stories about an unfulfilled love not only between two persons but also between life and its circumstances.

Two Men and You and I are stories about expectations, faith and addiction.

Abu Jaber Returns to the Woods is the story about siege, violence and humiliation.

It wasn't an easy-going reading. Also this book has only 118 pages. It took me the whole day to read it. I had to stop after each story and had a lot to think about it. I was agitated, sometimes angry and there were moments I felt very sad. It's a very strong book and I'm glad that I read it. ( )
  Ameise1 | Jan 4, 2015 |
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