Sometimes it’s not easy being a writer….you sit all day staring at a computer, waiting for inspiration. The muse may visit and dance in front of you, but on other days she’s elusive, entertaining someone else. When your book finally comes out, you think your life, even the world, will change forever, although it doesn’t. Mothers sometimes get post-natal depression, writers get post-publication depression when you come down from the high of being published and (hopefully) getting good reviews.
And then readers write to you, like Yaron, below, from Israel, who read my book ‘City of Oranges’ about the human stories of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa:
Thank you for this book – it was a fascinating read, and I have bought a copy for my sister, who lives in Tel Aviv, and she has also loved it. Even though I grew up in Israel, and have learned about these events in school, I don’t think I ever sympathised so much with the “other side” until I read it. It was a real eye opener.
I was wondering whether it has been translated into Hebrew and/or Arabic? I strongly believe it would benefit the so called “peace process” if both Jews and Palestinians would be able to see the human side of their “enemy”, and reading it would certainly be a good start.
I was very pleased to get this email, and sent it to Hasan Hammami, one of the book’s main characters. Hasan is in his seventies now, and fled Jaffa in 1948 with his family. He lives in Florida. He wrote back to me:
Thank you for the email from Yaron. Ultimately or peoples’ problem is going to be resolved by our own peoples, not by superpowers, the US or others. The outside world’s role so far has been dysfunctional and frequently used as a cover for avoiding resolution. Besides, outsiders other than our peoples, have their own interests, agendas and priorities. And for our peoples to resolve it, there’s nothing more compelling than understanding. listening to and empathy forthe other side.
PS, feel free to pass my email to Yaron.
So sometimes, it’s worth it.