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.
Gaza Blues and Beyond
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 l...
The Illusion of Return
In The Illusion of Return, his first novel in English, Samir El-Youssef explores the themes of memory and personal and collective tragedy. Comedy seems to be the only way to survive the absurdity of violence and politics. He discussed this and much more with Linda Grant.
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