clockroot books

Runo Isaksen’s book is unique in its ability to make us understand
without judging, to connect emotionally without patronizing, and to
make some sharp and lucid sense of one of the most obscure and
strange regions in the world. His book should be on the reading list
of any person who wants to transcend clichés and seeks to find
the real people who live and ache in the Middle East.
—Etgar Keret







lit and war Literature & War

Conversations with Israeli & Palestinian Writers

by Runo Isaksen

translated by Kari Dickson

“The first step toward real peace must be to get to know the other side, its culture and creativity.”—Mahmoud Darwish

Novelist Runo Isaksen, confronting the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, wanted to know: Can literature play a role in helping the one side to see the other? He interviewed fifteen preeminent Israeli and Palestinian writers, asking them what role literature may play in creating dialogue, ending war, building peace. The conversations that result are both deeply personal and deeply political, both reflective and urgent; they both complicate and clarify our understanding of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The collection includes interviews with acclaimed Israeli writers David Grossman and Amos Oz (“In a conflict, few people are capable of imagining other people's suffering”). Palestinian novelist Sahar Khalifeh discusses feminism, literature, and occupation. Poet Mahmoud Darwish and novelist Izzat Ghazzawi appear together, discussing how “knowledge about the other is an obligation.” These dialogues transcend national boundaries and the narrow language of conflict and invite readers around the world to take a step toward peace.

Authors interviewed include: Liana Badr • Orly Castel-Bloom • Mahmoud Darwish • Izzat Ghazzawi • David Grossman • Yoram Kaniuk • Etgar Keret • Sahar Khalifeh • Zakariyya Muhammad • Salman Natour • Amos Oz • Dorit Rabinyan • Meir Shalev • Mahmoud Shuqair • Yahya Yakhlif • Ghassan Zaqtan

ISBN 9781566567305 • 256 pages • paperback • $18.00