An Israeli-Palestinian who lived in Jerusalem for most of his life, Sayed Kashua started writing in Hebrew with the hope of creating one story that both Palestinians and Israelis could relate to, rather than two that cannot coexist. He devoted his novels and his satirical weekly column published in Ha’aretz to exploring the contradictions of modern Israel while also capturing the nuances of family life in all its tenderness and chaos. Over the last decade, Kashua's humorous essays have been among the most widely read columns in Israel. He writes about fatherhood and marriage, the Jewish-Arab conflict, encounters with prejudice, his professional ambitions, and his love of literature. With an intimate tone fueled by deep-seated apprehension and a razor-sharp ironic wit, he has documented his own life as well as that of society at large. Kashua has been praised by the New York Times as "a master of subtle nuance in dealing with both Arab and Jewish society" and has been called one of Israel’s foremost writers and intellectuals.
Sayed Kashua is the author of the novels: Dancing Arabs (2002), which has been made into a feature film and premiered in 2014 at the Telluride Film Festival; Let It Be Morning (2006), which was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; Second Person Singular (2010), winner of the prestigious Bernstein Prize, and Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life, a selection of his popular columns—unrestrained, profoundly thoughtful personal reflections on social and cultural dynamics as experienced by someone who straddles two societies. Kashua is a columnist for Ha’aretz and the creator of some of Israel’s most popular sitcoms, the brilliantly satirical Arab Labor and The Writer. He has lived most recently in Urbana-Champagne and worked with the University of Illinois, first through the Israel Studies Project and then as a Visiting Clinical Professor from 2014-2018.
Jewish Columbus hosts this exclusive event in partnership with Gramercy Books.