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.
Lavie: Well, the first book—the Hebrew book we did—we wrote when I was living in London and you were in Tel Aviv, so that was fairly easy. But then I moved to Vanuatu, where I had no Internet access for a year, and then to Asia, so with The Tel Aviv Dossier we had to deal with the time difference—we couldn’t really Skype the book like we did with the first one. So that was a bit tricky. But it was fun, too—do you have any particular bits you like in the book?
Nir: I like the crazy fireman, who’s fulfilling a longtime dream of mine, to drive a firetruck along Ibn-Gvirol street in Tel Aviv—which is where I live—going through everything in my way. And of course I like the bodyless head, mostly because you wanted to behead me when I first introduced it. - Click to continue reading.
There’s no law of physics, as far as I know, preventing a person from becoming a speculative fiction writer by deciding to become one. I’m sure that there are such writers in the genre’s history, though I wouldn’t know. To me, however, and to some other Israeli SF writers I know, becoming worthy of that title seems more like a sort of accident, albeit a happy one. - continue reading.
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