Emile Habibi’s The Secret Life of Saeed

io9 ran this short article a while ago, about Israel-Palestinian writer (and politician) Emile Habibi and his novel The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist:

Then came Habibi’s masterwork, The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist. Habibi’s partly autobiographical novel about an Israeli Arab who finds himself in space is every bit the equal of The Little Prince or Slaughterhouse Five. Patterned after Voltaire’s Candide, the writing is at least as sharp, and the lessons of the Israeli desert are if anything more worthwhile.

Habibi’s alter-ego is a constant victim of fate. He cannot truly become an Israeli because he is an Arab, and he cannot truly become an Arab because he is an Israeli. When things are that silly, anything’s possible. – read the rest of the article.


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