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Let It Be Morning

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  290 ratings  ·  41 reviews
In his debut, "Dancing Arabs, " Sayed Kashua established himself as one of the most daring voices of the Middle East. In his searing new novel, a young Arab journalist returns to his hometown -- an Arab village within Israel -- where his already vexed sense of belonging is forced to crisis when the village becomes a pawn in the never-ending power struggle that is the Middl ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove Press (first published 2004)
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Sayed Kashua is an Arab-Israeli journalist and novelist who often takes the understandable albeit slightly hypercritical stance of "don't think of me as an Arab-Israel writer just because I'm an Arab-Israeli who writes about Arab-Israelis."

The novel begins with the quasi-autobiographical story of a journalist returning with his wife and daughter to the Arab village where he grew up - this is an interesting touch since it roots the average contemporary reader, probably familiar with Kashua's biog

Rania Masri
This is a problematic book.
(1) reviewers claim the book discusses the "anti-semitism" in the "arab" community in israel and they point to such a discussion as a positive example of the book. however, there were no examples of anti-semitism in the book. rather, the main characters in the book discuss the discrimination they face from israeli jews.
(2) more importantly, however, the community continues to present itself as 'israeli arabs' and to refer to the palestinians of the west bank as 'palest
Update: after finishing it, I'm rounding it out at a solid 4 stars. It gets better and better and proves its narrative construction.

I'm still reading this, so the # of stars is up for revision, but for now it's a 3-star.

The narrator is very interesting, as is the situation. An Israeli Arab who's a journalist for an Israeli paper (their "arab" guy) who gradually gets marginalized at the paper as Palestinian-Israeli relations worsen and whose Arab village eventually gets blockaded indefinitely. I
I just could not officially finish this book. I'm still not officially sure how to do this properly...
Etha Frenkel
A very disturbing book on several levels. First, the horrible, kafkesque predicament the village unexpectedly and inexplicably finds itself in. Second, the narrator/protagonist and his negative attitude to everything. If there is a natural tendency to identify and sympathize with him he systematically destroys this. This includes the grotesque picture of the Arab village which he draws. All negative. At first I was relieved that at least his immediate family came out all right but then the memor ...more
Jim Leffert
This is the second novel (published in 2004) by Sayed Kashua, an Israeli Arab who has also created a popular show on Israeli television, Arab Labor, which pokes fun at relationships between Israeli Jews and Arabs. The protagonist narrator is a 28-year old Israeli Arab journalist, employed by a Hebrew language newspaper in Tel-Aviv. Feeling increasingly marginalized and rejected by the mainstream Israeli society in the wake of the Second Intifada, he retreats from Tel Aviv to his home village, dr ...more
Arda Aghazarian
A friend of mine read this book before I did and said: “I cannot believe the way he talks about his wife. It’s humiliating. Does she even KNOW he writes these things about her? Most probably not, right? I cannot imagine her READING this stuff and choose to still BE with him!”

I was having similar thoughts while reading this seemingly autobiographical narrative. This guy is quite unlikable. He’s paranoid, needy and untrustworthy. He is low in principles and high in opportunism. Sure, sure, there a
Jayne Charles
This was a slow burner, but well worth sticking with. At the start it appeared to be about an Arab, living in Israel, who exudes dissatisfaction about everything - his career, his home village, the city where he used to live, his parents, his wife....the list goes on. As the story progressed, I found it increasingly informative. I like a book that challenges my ignorance - and for starters I didn't realise there were Arabs who counted themselves Israeli citizens, and were happy to remain so. Thi ...more
1) This book highlights what it is like to be an Arab-Israeli and the complexities of being an Arab-Israeli living in a Jewish city. The protagonist displays a sense of regret when he states "how I hate myself for trying to believe I was really one of them...I never managed to feel like I was one of them. They always made me feel like an outsider" (170). At one point he feels sorry for the Arab-Israelis, who are in denial about the blockade, because they believe in their Citizenship. There is al ...more
Because this is a translation, I wonder if the writing 'style' is not simplified. On the other hand, the characters, the form, the message is fascinating. I have the two other books by Sayed Kashua - who has not just given up the 'fight' and left the Middle East - on hold at the library. I'm definitely looking forward to reading them
Andy Oram
I find three different books inside this one, all inducing the sense of relentless despair appropriate to the source of the book's title (Deuteronomy 28:67). The first aspect of the book is a paranoid, Kafkaesque story of a siege that represents--in a highly exaggerated form--the indignations and oppression that Palestinian Arabs feel, not only in Israel but in the rest of the world. The second aspect, which is my favorite, is an invented memoir retelling the main narrator's struggles as a child ...more
Rose Heredia
Due to the translation from Hebrew to English, I felt the writing was stilted. I found it hard to connect to the story due to the language. The story at times traveled to the past but I didn't see the connection between the present and the past with every moment. The third act was very quickly paced but still felt as if something was missing. As for the last lines of the book, I understood it's intent, but was left so empty. Perhaps I needed more context for the story? I would be interested to l ...more
This is set in a small Arab village in Israel and was a very interesting look at the struggle that everyday life can become in Israel for this minority. Focusing on the life of a journalist at a Jewish newspaper, the protagonist has moved back to his small village as his assignments (along with his paycheck) dry up in the face of increasing tension in Israel. Shortly after moving home the village is surrounded by tanks and the village is cut off from fresh supplies of food, water and waste dispo ...more
a book I wanted to like more, but didn't really! I started it and then got distracted by something more interesting (!). Felt I had to finish it, and at the time the Israeli/ Palestinian issues were at the top of the new again.

It was interesting, and the sense of things being at one minute totally normal and then normality being swept away they next minute was portrayed vividly. I found the characterisation very wooden though, which in turn made it difficult to care about the characters very muc
Jaana Ylikangas
Different from the columns in Haaretz that Ive been following for years and grew tired of. I have to admit that I read the book between the lines all the time. This is many books in one, as stated in at least another review. I also conceived it as other fates than the Palestinian. I had a philosophical problem I didnt know of. This is a book that I needed but didnt know it. It doesnt seem like an important book but it is, at least for me. I havent been ignorant to start with so Im startled but n ...more
Georgia Rucker
Claustrophic, paranoid, real-world, painful… See what it's like to be an Arab living on/surrounded by Jewish territory. Sayed's style is fast, diary-esque…sucks ya in.
just sarah
If you want a 200+ page tour of the guts of the word quagmire, this is the story for you. Kashua clearly draws on first-hand experience as he takes the reader directly into the tangle of Israelis, Arab Israelis and Palestinians. For the most part the prose and translation are good and keep the reader's interest piqued, but there are passages that could use editing. Also questionable is his treatment of his female characters, for whom he has no kind words. All in all, if Kashua was bitterly attem ...more
An fascinating read. A story of Israeli Arab from a side not often heard.
Feb 10, 2008 William rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: read-in-2008
A gritty portrait of life in an Arab village in Israel during a time of conflict. The story concerns a dissillusioned Arab writer who leaves behind his job at an israieli newspaper to return to his childhood village only to have his hopes of a better life destroyed by events beyond his control.
Touches on the complexity of life during difficult times and, much like Dreams of Water, on the search for indentity. A good read and Sayed Kashua maintains the suspence of the Israeli blockade of the vill
Sean Glover
This book, without sparing the 'adult' language, offers a glimpse at the lives of Isreali citizens of Arab descent and Palestenians with the touch of the journalist. Kashua kept me engaged throughout the whole book. So it went by fast. I appreciated an account, albeit fictional, of what it the situation is like to be a real person in that context. Kashua also does an excellent job of portraying human universals related to family, neighborhood, relationships and growing up. Very good perspective ...more
I've always been fascinated with the Israeli Palestinina conflict as are many others. The book starts off promising when you learn that you will be reading about the lives of the Arab towns within Israel; but the book really fizzled out. It doesn't really give you a sense of how the conflict is impacting the towns beyond the surface. The author tries to paint a town where villagers turn against one another as a result of the blockade but the delivery was incomplete and disappointing.
Diana Skelton
"...Things have calmed down. Only a handful of kids still loiter, biking around the roadblocks to mock the soldiers and tanks. I turn back and pass in front of the fountain, the one inaugurated with great pomp by the mayor and meant to welcome Saturday visitors. The fountain is not working because of the blackout. The water is fouler than ever. Empty cans, cigarette butts and other filth discarded by the crowds over the past two days, stagnate on the surface...."
סיפור טוב, לקח לי יותר זמן לסיים אותו מאשר לשני ספריו של קשוע שקראתי קודם, במקום מסויים הוא משעמם שהוא חוזר על אותם סטיריאוטיפים שיש לו קלפי ערביי ישראל, בהתבסס על אוכלוסייה קטנה של ערבים שכוללת קרובים, שכנים ובנע משפחה, שלקחו חלק בסיפור.

לפעמים אופן הכתיבה הפרטני יכול להטעות את הקורא, אם מדובר על סיפורי עם מהאספקט של הסופר, כי מחשבות אישיות לא בהכרח הן מחשבותיו של הקולקטיב.

אבל קשוע מצליח עוד פעם להביע את הפאראדוקס שחיי בו ערבי בישראל בצורה הטובה ביותר.
Another book difficult to rate. It's beautifully written and translated. A frankly unlikable narrator who is a journalist and has moved back to the Arab village where he grew up. The village is barricaded, water and electricty turned off, and live quickly becomes chaotic. The ending is a bit of a twist, turning the whole narrative on it's head. I didn't really like it but I am intrigued and want to read more.
Set in an Israeli Arab village near Jerusalem. Although fictional, it functioned much more like nonfiction. The characters were not well developed, & the plot & structure were designed almost entirely to convey what it's like to live as an Arab in Israel--very much outsiders to Israelis, viewed with suspicion even by liberals, but also outsiders to the Arab community & with very little in common with them.
Karyn Wynne
Loved the book! I much preferred the writing style, telling a story to "Dancing Arabs" which is told first person, in "spurts" of time. This book gives great insight to the lives of Arabs living in Israel, and what is happening to the villages they have lived in for many years. Imagine, if all of a sudden, you were the citizen of Canada or Mexico and YOU did not move!
Sep 24, 2007 nina rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: fiction
Great book about a journalist who moves his family back to his hometown, an Arab village in Israel, in hopes of avoiding the discrimination he felt in the city.

A military blockade of the town pits neighbors against each other and examines whose "side" Arab-Israelis belong to.

The characters are well-developed and it's difficult to put this book down.

I love this book by an Arab living in Israel. In the novel the journalist living in an Arab suburb of an Israeli city and the entire community working, going to school, marketing their stores to Israelis are living a good and prospereous life. But being Arab they are part of a whole political system that can harm them very easily.
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Second Person Singular Dancing Arabs Native בן הארץ

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