“Fascinating and satirical . . . Addresses the split identity of the Arab Israeli, with its contradictory wishes and its impossible yearnings. Courageously, but also with considerable humor, Kashua . . . sharpensfor both the characters and the readersquestions of belonging, identity, and identification.” from the Bernstein Award citation
"Sayed Kashua is a brilliant, funny, humane writer who effortlessly overturns any and all preconceptions about the Middle East. God, I love him." Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
Sayed Kashua, the author of two acclaimed novels and creator of the groundbreaking Israeli sitcom, Arab Labor,
has been widely praised for his literary eye and deadpan wit. An Arab who writes in Hebrew, Kashua defies classification and lives the very contradictions he captures in his workstraddling two cultures and navigating tricky fault lines with no comfort zone in sight. He has been featured in The New York Times
, and his new novel, Second Person Singular,
is internationally considered to be his most accomplished and entertaining work yet.
Winner of the prestigious Bernstein Award, Kashua’s third novel centers on an ambitious lawyer who is one of the best Arab criminal attorneys in Jerusalem
. He has a thriving practice in the Jewish part of the city, a large house, speaks perfect Hebrew, and is in love with his wife, Leila, and their two young children. One day at a used bookstore, he picks up a copy of Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata,
and inside finds a love letter, in Arabic, in his wife’s handwriting. Consumed with suspicion and jealousy, the lawyer hunts for the book’s previous ownera man, according to the inscription, named Yonatanpulling at the strings that hold all their lives together.
With enormous emotional power and a keen sense of the absurd, Kashua spins a tale of love and betrayal, honesty and artifice, and questions whether it is possible to truly reinvent ourselves, to shed our old skin. Second Person Singular
is a deliciously complex psychological mystery and a searing dissection of the individuals that comprise a divided society.