I Am Ariel Sharon
Yara El-Ghadban, translated by Wayne Grady
It is 2014, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the "King of Israel" and Minister of Defence during the Lebanon War and the Sabra and Shatila massacre, has lain comatose for eight years. As death approaches, he is addressed by the women in his life — his mother, Vera, and his wives, Lily and Gali. Appealing to the humanity in a man often considered a monster, they evoke his family's flight from Russia to Mandatory Palestine, his mother's reluctance to have emigrated at all, his paramilitary upbringing and later life as a soldier, and the massacres the so-called "Butcher of Beirut" helped put into action.
Like latter-day Greek Furies, the women confront on their own terms a figure so terrifying to so many. They sing the brutality of his life, lament his maltreatment of the Palestinian people, and demand he face up to his part in the bloodshed of Israel's wars. Here is an extraordinary and impassioned story of nearly impossible empathy and reckoning, a meeting of antagonists that only the award-winning Palestinian Canadian writer Yara El-Ghadban could imagine. (From House of Anansi Press)
Yara El-Ghadban is a novelist, anthropologist, essayist and ethnomusicologist from Montreal.
Wayne Grady is a writer and translator from Kingston, Ont. His novels include Emancipation Day, which won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and Up From Freedom. He won the Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation for his translation of On the Eighth Day by Antonine Maillet.