Sleeping on a Wire Conversations with Palestinians in Israel

With a New Afterword; David Grossman; Translated by Haim Watzman




Trade Paperback

352 Pages



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Israel describes itself as a Jewish state. What, then, is the status of the one-fifth of its citizens who are not Jewish? Are they Israelis, or are they Palestinians? Or are they people without a country? How will a Palestinian state—if it is established—influence the sense of belonging and identity of Palestinian Israeli citizens? Based on conversations with Palestinians in Israel, Sleeping on a Wire, like The Yellow Wind, is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the Middle East today.

This edition has been updated with a new afterword by the author.


Praise for Sleeping on a Wire

"No other Israeli writer so far has approached this touchy subject with such compassion, or looked at it with, so to speak, bifocal eyes, Israeli and Palestinian."—Amos Elon, The New York Review of Books

"Eloquent . . . gives voice to a community that rarely makes itself heard outside Israel and is largely ignored within that country . . . An old Yiddish saying maintains that it's hard to be a Jew. Recent history has also taught us that it's hard to be a Palestinian. But to be a Palestinian in a Jewish state seems the very definition of being caught between the rock and the hard place." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

"David Grossman is a brilliant and passionately honest young Israeli novelist whose clarity of vision and sensitivity to language inform his work as a political commentator."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Insightful . . . Gives [us] hope that at least the problems—if not the solutions—will begin to emerge in all their human complexity."—The Washington Post Book World

"Sleeping on a Wire . . . is above all a book about emotions, memories, languages, and the sense of self."—The Voice Literary Supplement

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

It was morning in the midafeh--%the room where guests are received--in the house of Hassan Ali Masalha in Kafr Kara. Passions flared among the men seated on mats; the elder Hassan Masalha was debating with his son....

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  • With a New Afterword; David Grossman; Translated by Haim Watzman

  • David Grossman is the author of six novels and three works of nonfiction. He lives in Jerusalem.