A bold and innovative novel, I Am Ariel Sharon dives into the tortured mind of the controversial Israeli prime minister as he lies comatose and faces an ultimate reckoning.
Award-winning Palestinian Canadian novelist Yara El-Ghadban imagines the confrontation at death’s door between Ariel Sharon, the “King of Israel,” and the women closest to him — his mother, his wives, and the mysterious nurse Rita. Like latter-day Greek furies, they lament the brutality of his life and maltreatment of the Palestinian people and demand he face up to his part in the bloodshed of Israel’s wars.
Here is an extraordinary, magical, and impassioned story of nearly impossible empathy, the singular work of a novelist in full flight.
About the authors
Palestinian Quebecker YARA EL-GHADBAN is an anthropologist by training but has been writing since she was thirteen. She is the author of three novels, of which I Am Ariel Sharon is the first to be translated into English. In 2017 she won the Canada Council for the Arts’ Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award, and in 2019 she was awarded the Blue Metropolis Literary Diversity Prize. She lives and writes in Montreal.
Wayne Grady is the general editor of this series of literary anthologies devoted to the world's natural wonders. One of Canada's foremost popular science writers and the winner of three Science in Society awards from the Canadian Science Writers' Association, he is the author of twelve nonfiction books on such diverse adventures as hunting dinosaurs in the Gobi Desert, investigating global warming at the North Pole, and discovering the wild in an urban metropolis. His books include the bestselling Tree: A Life Story, written with David Suzuki, and Bringing Back the Dodo. His most recent book is the award-winning The Great Lakes: The Natural History of a Changing Region. He lives near Kingston, Ontario.
- Winner, Blue Metropolis Literary Diversity Award
- Long-listed, Prix Hors-Concours des Lycéens
- Long-listed, Prix Français Hors-Concours
Yara El-Ghadban paints a picture of a country devastated by an ethical shortcoming that affects everyone, Palestinians and Israelis. Through this chorus of female voices and through the character of a nurse who reads to the patient, she calls for wisdom.
[Yara El-Ghadban’s] prose forces us to look anew. Readers accustomed to the repetitive stories of textbooks and the media will be transported into the eye of the hurricane and enveloped in the close proximity and conflagration of war … and carried away by a pen that combines history and feeling with extraordinary panache. Don’t wait. Read this book now.
Le Journal des Alternatives
By remaining in the liminal space of coma, I Am Ariel Sharon avoids partisan and political blind spots and addresses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a perspective that history and analysis all-too-often tend to exclude: the humanity of a man, with all the horror and the light it encompasses. Here resides the great intelligence of Yara El-Ghadban’s book, which, taking up and going beyond Spinoza’s famous formula, reaffirms that literature can at once laugh, cry, hate, and understand.
One can only bow before the sensibility and striving for objectivity of someone who writes with extraordinary fluidity and who the stage would do well to discover.