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Ibtisam Azem’s “The Book of the Disappearance” tells what would happen to Israel if all Palestinians suddenly disappeared, in my humble opinion, focus a little too much on psychology and too little on geo-political fantasy
The Book of Disapearance
The mystery surrounds an unprecedented fact: around midnight on any given night, all Palestinians suddenly disappear, evaporated. It is not known what happened to drivers, laborers, doctors and nurses, young and old. What could happen to the Israelis if the Palestinians were no longer, at the same time, the enemy, the scapegoat, the alibi? What happens when the enemy disappears in your life? Palestinian writer Ibtisam Azem is the author of one of the most innovative novels on the Arab literary scene.
A great idea but …
As written by the publisher, “The Book of Disappearance” is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most innovative and intriguing books on the current Arab scene, adding a revolutionary and extremely intriguing dynamic. Under the incredible premise, the Palestinian writer also inserts a beautiful, clean prose capable of deeply touching both Jaffa and Tel Aviv history as well as the relationship between Alaa and her grandmother Hoda, Nakba’seyewitness, the Palestinian “Disaster”. The “but …” is due to the fact that, in my humble opinion, this book was meant to be the first part of a larger text and not a stand-alone work.
“The book of the disappearance”, in fact, does not exploit so much the disappearance to tell what would happen to Israel without the Palestinians, but rather to allow Ariel, the “Zionist protagonist” to read and investigate in depth the concept of memory and what it means. specifically for this people (without however changing it particularly). For heaven’s sake, everything written very well and flawlessly, but with such a premise a real masterpiece could come out of it, however, the fact of placing memory and remembrance as a prominent element, greatly limits its potential, making it more similar to other Palestinian novels of the last period.
Let me be clear: these concepts are rightly central to an oppressed people and that from dawn to dusk has seen its peaceful existence change forever, however, really, with such a premise you could do something truly unforgettable, especially for the moment we are living.
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