Dancing Arabs (Kashua)

Much has been written about how it can be difficult to straddle two cultures while living in one – the proverbial problem of having a foot in two worlds. The protagonist of this book is born with his foot in two worlds. He is an Arab-Israeli. What’s new here is that he fails as he tries to manage (dance?) this inherently difficult identity. He wants to ‘pass’ for Jewish, but cannot. He wants to move out of his village, but ultimately has to return. Kashua’s writing is non-linear and, at times, whimsical and funny. Still, much of it felt like an in-joke that I vaguely understood or like I’d walked into the middle of a story, a story familiar enough that I could probably nod the appropriate places, but disorienting nonetheless.

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