The battle in the books

Richard Lea in The Guardian:

Leb256The Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury has had little time for writing over the past month. “First you have to behave as a citizen, and not a writer. If you have one third of your population [taking refuge] in public schools then you have to help. So there is little time for writing.”

For the moment, a ceasefire holds in the Middle East, but for the region’s writers, as for so many others, chaos and disruption continue…

In Tel Aviv, meanwhile, the real world has caught up with Israeli writer Orly Castel-Bloom. “I used to write books they called postmodern,” she says, “but now it is pure realism.”

Her latest novel, Textile, was published earlier this year. Over the past month she has been writing, “but not a lot”.

More here.