"Men in the Sun" and Other Palestinian Stories, Paperback Book

"Men in the Sun" and Other Palestinian Stories Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Though they chronicle life in a country that has witnessed extraordinary and often violent political, economic, and cultural change, the works are striking in their light and intimate tone.

They include personal reminiscences of childhood, travel essays, and observations of village life and custom.

Among the most prominent of the featured authors are Lu Xun, one of China's leading essayists in the period before World War II; Lao She, a novelist and playwright whose life spanned the period from the end of the Ch'ing dynasty to the peak of the Cultural Revolution; Zou Taofen, a journalist, political commentator, and publisher in pre-Maoist China; and Yu Qiuryu, one of the most provocative writers in contemporary China.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 117 pages
  • Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary essays
  • ISBN: 9780894108570



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This volume contains a novella and six short stories that, through one mechanism or another, all speak about the plight of displaced Palestinians. Ghassan Kasafani was a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine prior to his murder and, based on that, I expected the stories to have an overtly anti-Israeli slant. However, Kasafani's approach is more subtle and, ultimately, more moving. Instead of imposing an ideology on the reader, he simply shows us the effects…the stark consequences to individuals and families.I liked each of the stories here; they move in unexpected directions. In "Umm Saad", we hear the martial words from the mouth of a mother rather than her fedayeen son as we might expect. We get a reworking of the Biblical story of the Mark of Cain in "If You Were a Horse…", almost a Greek tragedy in the inevitability of fate. Most had a twist to the ending…an almost O. Henry-ish moment that causes the reader to re-think the meaning of what he has just read, making them deeper and more poignant. Particularly moving are the titular novella in which three men attempting to escape into Kuwait become an allegory for the entire Palestinian condition, and "The Land of Sad Oranges" showing us the destruction of a family as they are dispossessed.Excellent.

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