Thursday, February 26, 2009

Top 10 "eccentric" Middle East books

Patrick Tyler is a journalist and author whose career in newspapers includes 12 years at The Washington Post, and 14 years at The New York Times, where he was chief correspondent from 2002-2004. He anchored The Times coverage of the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and established its Baghdad Bureau after the fall of Saddam Hussein. His latest book is A World of Trouble: The White House and the Middle East--from the Cold War to the War on Terror.

For the Guardian, he named a top ten list of "eccentric" Middle East books -- books that "come at the essential conflict in the region from an obtuse angle, casting surprising light on a situation that often seems all too familiar."

One title on the list:
A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz

An epic story of the author's life intertwined with that of Israel. This book was given to me by the family I stay with in Tel Aviv. "If you read this, you will understand everything about us," said my host. Oz's journey touches on growing up in Palestine, his richly varied extended family, his mother's long descent toward suicide and the perseverance of an irrepressibly curious intellect. As a boy, he thought "that soon, in a few years, the Jews would be the majority here, and as soon as that happened we'd show the whole world how to treat a minority ... It was a pretty dream."
Read about all ten books on Tyler's list.

--Marshal Zeringue