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Second Person Singular Tekijä: Sayed Kashua

Second Person Singular (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2010; vuoden 2013 painos)

Tekijä: Sayed Kashua (Tekijä), Mitch Ginsburg (Kääntäjä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
19413135,051 (3.95)33
A highly respected Jerusalemite attorney embarks on a jealous search for his wife's ex-lover upon finding a love letter in her handwriting tucked inside a used Tolstoy book.
Teoksen nimi:Second Person Singular
Kirjailijat:Sayed Kashua (Tekijä)
Muut tekijät:Mitch Ginsburg (Kääntäjä)
Info:Grove Press (2013), 352 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):


Second Person Singular (tekijä: Sayed Kashua) (2010)


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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I’m not sure how I heard about this book but it turned out to be quite the page turner. Gripping doesn’t begin to cover it. I had very little knowledge about the lives of Palestinians living in Jerusalem, where they are looked down on and regarded as less as a people. They have to learn the ins and outs and how to maneuver the slippery slope that is life in Israel.

A highly successful, unnamed Arab lawyer seems to be feeling a bit out of sorts and not feeling very romantic with his wife. He actually has stopped sleeping with her and instead shares his child’s bedroom even though he’s not yet thirty. He finds a note inside a book, purchased at a local bookstore, which rocks his world and sends him into a tailspin.

Another young man, a social worker about the same age as the lawyer, feels he has made the wrong choice as far as his profession goes and takes a job as a caretaker for a man who was tragically and permanently injured in an unnamed accident and remains in a vegetative state.

These two lives intersect in an unusual and highly provocative way that results in a tense and confrontational meeting of the two men and takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride through one of the most compelling narratives I’ve ever read. Could not put it down.

I would’ve given it the full five stars but I had a slight problem with the last couple of paragraphs. I hope we hear more from this highly inventive writer. Very highly recommended. ( )
1 ääni brenzi | Apr 25, 2019 |
The lives of two Arab-Israeli men in Jerusalem intertwine when one of them finds a letter to the other written in his wife's handwriting and hidden in a used book he buys. The husband, identified throughout only as "the lawyer", immediately wants to kill his wife but decides to investigate first, and he uses his contacts to track the man down. The second man, who met the wife only twice, years ago and before her marriage, is unaware of the furor and has been living an unusual life as a social worker and photographer. He is considerably more likable and interesting than the lawyer, who concedes that his main concern is not whether his wife was a virgin when they married but whether his acquaintances would condemn him if she hadn't been.

More important than the plot, and this seemed deliberate to me, were the descriptions of Arab-Israeli life: institutionalized poverty; lack of education, training and job prospects; general disdain towards themselves, and anger and distrust towards Jewish Israelis. The Jews, of course, dislike and distrust them, too, and with their great power and wealth they maintain the second-class lives of the Arab Israelis. Minimal slots (sometimes only one) are designated for Arabs in medical facilities, educational institutions, and presumably elsewhere. Transportation is third-class. Opportunities are less than minimal, and only those with luck (the lawyer) or by deception (the social worker) can make any headway. Both these characters hail from villages in the Triangle, an Arab-populated area some Israelis have proposed trading to Palestine for the area of the West Bank that Jews have illegally colonized. You can imagine that it's not a popular idea with Israeli citizens of Arab descent, who view Israel as their home and who fear even worse conditions under Palestinian rule - not to mention the racism inherent in the plan.

A good story set in an appalling society. ( )
  auntmarge64 | Apr 18, 2019 |

Second Person Singular by Palestinian-Israeli author Sayed Kashua, tells the story of two men, both Arabs, living in Jerusalem. Superficially, they have similar histories; they both come from small villages and they both came to Jerusalem to go to university and stayed afterward. One man became a successful lawyer, living in a beautiful house with his wife and two young children, he drives a BMW. He's not in love with his wife, but when he finds an affectionate note in his wife's handwriting, tucked into a used book he just purchased, he becomes consumed with jealously and anger and is determined to find the man the note was intended for.

The other man became a social worker. He's struggling financially but he resists his mother's entreaties to return to the village he left. He works during the day for a government agency providing social services to heroin addicts and at night he is the caretaker for a young man his age who due to an unspecified accident, lives in a vegetative state. When events cause him to quit his day job, he becomes more fascinated with the past of his Jewish patient, reading his books, listening to his music and using his camera.

Second Person Singular is just a fantastic book. While neither man is particularly sympathetic, it's impossible not to be drawn into their lives. How Kashua draws the two men's lives together is riveting. I will be reading more by this author, who is well-known in Israel. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Apr 4, 2019 |
This is an amazing story. It's a bit convoluted, but it has to be that way for it to work. The story is of the intersection of lives of Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews, but it's told in an excruciatingly detailed way to show how nuanced that relationship truly is.

The protagonist of the story, a nameless Arab from the Triangle area east of the Green Line, currently lives with his wife and their two children in west Jerusalem where he is a practicing crimimal lawyer. The other important character, who is not named until nearly the end of the story, is an Arab social worker who comes from a similar albeit even poorer background. The social worker who also studied and now works in west Jerusalem encounters an awkward situation which compels him to flee his job and turn his part-time job as caregiver for a Jewish young man, an invalid, into a full-time job. By chance, the lawyer encounters a note in a book with the name of the social worker's patient on it. The contents of that note drive the lawyer into a frenzy as he suspects his wife wrote it.

I don't want to give away too much of the plot because it is so well interwoven that the fun of the story is simply discovering what comes next. I have read novels by this author before, but this is the best one by far probably because of its complexity. By the last third of this book, I simply could not put the book down until I found out what happened at the end. ( )
1 ääni SqueakyChu | Mar 9, 2019 |
This book is very interesting, intelligent and informative. It mirrors the fears and the preoccupations of the Arab citizens in Jerusalem, which is not well shown in the media. ( )
  LaraSaad | Jun 20, 2016 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (7 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Sayed Kashuaensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Ginsburg, MitchKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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A highly respected Jerusalemite attorney embarks on a jealous search for his wife's ex-lover upon finding a love letter in her handwriting tucked inside a used Tolstoy book.

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