I absolutely love reading – it’s one of my greatest pleasures in life. Not only because you learn so much but because it allows you to travel, both in space and in time.
I’ve just finished reading a most incredible book by Julia Navarro, a Spanish writer. The title in English is “Shoot me, I’m already dead”.
Over the years I have read several books by her and loved all of them. But for some time I had not read anything from her, until recently a friend told me about this one. She commented it was through this book that she had finally understood the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I was interested and, when a few weeks ago I went to Madrid on a business trip, and was looking for some books at the airport bookstore so as to practice my Spanish, I found this book in a paperback edition – that I prefer, because they are less heavy – and I bought it.
As a coincidence, I had just finished the book I was reading the night before, so I started reading it on the plane and was immediately entranced.
The books tells the story of two main families – and their friends and relatives – one Jewish and another one Arabic, and spans from the beginning of the 20th century with the pogroms in Russia to the present day in Israel. It tells us the incredible saga of how a Jewish family fled from Russia and went to live in Palestine, and became close friends to a Palestinian Muslim family who had been there forever. They became as close as if they were relatives, and they kept this friendship until it was no longer possible, as they were inevitably drawn against each other by life’s circumstances.
It’s not an easy book, in the sense that it has some very tough passages, like the one describing what happened to some members of the Jewish family in the Nazi concentration camps, but it is a book that should be read as it really explains a very important part of the world’s history, and one that particularly influences the state of international politics to this day. And, on the other hand, once you start reading it, you simply cannot put it down!
And why this title – quite strange, isn’t it? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out.