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Confessions of a Good Arab

Yoram Kaniuk
Confessions of a Good Arab, one of the boldest artistic expressions in Israeli literature, plumbs the depths of the tragedy of the Jews and Arabs who share the same country. Yosef Sherara is the son of an Arab father and a Jewish mother. The book is written in the form of a confession, a kind of family saga, full of mythic elements and larger-than-life characters. Yosef's maternal grandfather is a German-born Jew, who allies himself spiritually to Palestine and its Arab people. When the Nazis come to power in Germany, he travels to Palestine, but his wife cannot adapt to the Middle East and becomes mentally ill. Their daughter takes part in the War of Independence and becomes a national heroine. She marries her father's old friend Azouri, a Palestinian Arab, who is a brilliant man and an expert in the field of the Jewish-Arab conflict. The meeting between the two turns into a titanic love story, the fruit of which is Yosef, born in Paris. In Yosef, an artist, the two traditions meet. His soul is the painful battlefield whereupon the Jewish and Arab elements perennially struggle.

If the heart of this book is romance, then its soul is history. Kaniuk's character serves as the private battleground for the contrinuing struggle between two overriding themes: the annihilation of European Jewry and the dispossession of Palestinian Arabs.
New York Times 

Magical realism has come to the Middle East....[Kaniuk] has gone enthusiastically overboard and written a very original, provocative, and occasionally savage novel.
Times Literary Supplement

Kaniuk's fiery and provocative novel is out to fracture the badly set bone that deforms the Middle East.
Los Angeles Times

Confessions of a Good Arab
Title Confessions of a Good Arab
Author’s Last Name Kaniuk
Author's First Name Yoram
Language(s) English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Catalan (Spain), Danish, Norwegian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Kinneret
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1984
Publisher 2 (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication 2 (Hebrew) 2010
No. Pages 152 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Aravi Tov
Representation Represented by ITHL


Swedish: Stockholm, Forum, 1986
English: London, Peter Halban, 1987; New York, George Braziller, 1988; London, Paladin Grafton, 1988
German: Frankfurt, Alibaba, 1988
Danish: Copenhagen, Gyldendal, 1988
Serbo-Croatian: Belgrade, Decje Novine, 1988
Slovene: Murska Sobota, Pomurska Zalozba, 1988
Spanish: Barcelona, Versal, 1989
Catalan: Barcelona, Ediciones 62, 1989
Dutch: Amsterdam, Meulenhoff, 1991
French: Lille, Miroirs, 1992; pback: Paris, Stock, 1994 
Norwegian: Oslo, Cappelens, 1995
Italian: Rome, Theoria, 1997; Florence, Giuntina, 2012
Arabic: Damascus, Canaan, 2004

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