I first read David Grossman’s The Yellow Wind a little over a year ago. See brief comments here. Now we’re discussing it in our book club at work this month, so I’m back. It’s still a well-written book, filled with very disturbing stories about life in Palestine under Israeli occupation. The author, already a respected novelist in the 1980’s, spent seven weeks in Palestine in the late 1980’s and based the stories on interviews and experiences from that period. The book was originally published in 1988 and has an Afterword from 2002. The stories are grim and do not cast a very good light on either the Palestinians or the Israelis. The book was a plea to his Israeli countrymen, asking them to consider the price they were having to pay (in terms of their culture, their honor, their souls, their state….) to keep treating the Palestinians like that.
Reading the book more than twenty years after the original 7-week foray into Palestine, I wonder what Grossman would find if he went back to those villages and settlements and refugee camps today, and how he would write about it today?
Grossman is still writing (essays and novels) and is an activist. He gave this speech to Israel on Rabin Memorial Day in 2006, just a few months after his son Uri was killed in battle in the Lebanon War. He was interviewed at the University of California, recorded shortly after the inauguration of President Obama. And he protested just last month at Sheikh Jarrah.