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Gaza Blues and Beyond

Etgar Keret, Samir El-Youssef

08/03/2005 11:30 am
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With no common political agenda, nor even a desire to talk politics together, Israeli author Etgar Keret and Palestinian author Samir El-youssef have forged a remarkable literary collaboration. In Gaza Blues (2004), a book of short stories and a novella, they place their fictional voices alongside one another in an exploration of various aspects of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

With Linda Grant, these two writers discussed their aim of making the “conflict more complex… as human life is complex”, rather than repeating the old rhetoric, and explored El-youssef’s desire to create a new literature for an Arab audience.

Etgar Keret

Etgar Keret is one of the leading voices in Israeli literature and cinema, his short stories, novellas and graphic novels translated in twenty-six languages. His film Jellyfish won the Camera d\'Or at the Cannes Festival. Keret teaches in Ben Gurion University’s Hebrew Literature department.

Samir El-Youssef

Samir El-Youssef is Palestinian and was born in Rashidia, a refugee camp in Lebanon. He writes fiction, essays and reviews. His book, Gaza Blues, co-authored with Etgar Keret, received wide acclaim. He has been living in London since 1990. The Illusion of Return is his first novel in English. He won the Tucholsky Award for promoting the cause of peace and freedom of speech in the Middle East.

Linda Grant

Linda Grant writes both fiction and non-fiction. When I Lived in Modern Times won the Orange Prize and The Clothes on Their Backs, shortlisted for the Man Booker, won the South Bank Show Award.