Sayed Kashua

(1783 words)
  • Anna Bernard (King's College London )

In Sayed Kashua’s most recent novel, Second Person Singular (Guf sheni yachid, 2010), the first-person narrator Amir, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, acquires an identity card belonging to an Israeli Jew. The owner of the card is a young man Amir’s own age who is in a vegetative state after a suicide attempt. Amir uses the ID card to apply for admission to Bezalel, Israel’s national art academy, where he begins a new life: “I was Yonatan Forschmidt: Israeli, white, Ashkenazi, a consumer of Western culture. I was not Sephardic and I was not the token Arab” (283; page numbers refer to the published English translations of the Hebrew texts). As Yonatan, Amir is privy to the conversations that the Jewish students …

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Bernard, Anna. "Sayed Kashua". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 August 2012
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]