The essay addresses a central aspect in the writings of the Israeli-Palestinian writer, scriptwriter and journalist, Sayed Kashua: the passion of his main characters, all Israeli-Arabs, to assimilate into Jewish culture and pass as Jews. It argues that narratives of “passing”, even when dealing with the crossing of racial, national or social lines, are necessarily tied to gender models. Literature and history are full of stories of “passing”, and all of them, including Kashua's, depict a craving to pass that shows an affinity to forceful binary heteronormative ideals of manhood and womanhood. The essay offers an analysis of the narrative of “passing” in Kashua's third novel, Second Person Singular (2010). It points to the successful “passing” of the protagonist, Amir, and examines the psycho-political implications of this success by comparing it with other protagonists in Kashua's earlier writing, who all failed to pass as Jewish-Israelis.
- Hebrew literature
- Sayed Kashua