"Men in the Sun" and Other Palestinian Stories

A collection of stories by a Palestinian novelist, journalist, teacher, and activist, including the novella (1962), the basis of the film . Other stories were written during the 1950s and 1960s, and offer a gritty look at the agonized world of Palestine and the adjoining Middle East. Includes an introduction on Kanafani's life and work. The author, a major spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was killed in a car-bomb explosion in 1972. Lacks a subject index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Ghassan Kanafani, a Palestinian writer, uses the experiences he has lived through in the Middle East to inspire his literary work, Men in the Sun. Kanafani explains the trauma that encompasses the life of a refugee through three different male characters from three different generations with the use of graphic metaphors. They come together with a common goal in mind; escape the poverty and oppression in their homeland to seek work and opportunity in Kuwait. The oldest of the three, Abu Qais, seeks a new life in order to support his wife, his son, and his newborn. Marwan, the youngest of the three, seeks a new life to support his mother and siblings and to prove to his father that he could support himself and his family better than he did. Assad, a strong man and a loner, represents the middle generation whose life cannot become any worse than it already is. He has attempted several times to escape the hardships of his homeland life in the past, but each effort is futile, as the smugglers that are supposed to transport him to Kuwait leave him in the middle of nowhere to cook under a blistering desert sun. The three men are connected through a character named Abul Khaizuran, a smuggler, who convinces the men that he will successfully transport them to Kuwait for the cheapest price. The trip towards Kuwait is riveting and emotional as the characters bond in the short time they have. Hilary Kilpatrick translates this novel from Arabic.

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