Anton Shammas : ערבסקות, (Arabesques)

The latest addition to my website is Anton Shammasערבסקות, (Arabesques). This is an autobiographical novel (the narrator is called Anton Shammas) which, interestingly enough was written in Hebrew, though it is very much about the Palestinian experience. Shammas tells us the convoluted story of his family in the Palestinian village of Fassuta, about what happenedto the village, its inhabitants and his family in 1948, while, at the same time recounting parts of his life in the 1980s, particularly, his time at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a stay in Paris, including a visit to the Père Lachaise cemetery where Proust and the PLO seem to be neighbours. While at times rambling, jumping backwards and forwards, this is a fascinating novel about a Palestinian family both pre- and post-Nakba, with an interesting sub-plot about identity.

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