Fadia Faqir, Author, F. Faqir, Author Penguin Books $7.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-14-013333-2
Mired in political rhetoric, this alarming first novel by a Jordanian native tracks a Palestinian terrorist, his girlfriend and his Israeli interrogator. The subject matter--a terrorist's thought processes, his lethal acts (including the murder of nine Israeli settlers), capture, torture and attendant plunge into madness--is potentially gripping, but Faqir repeatedly proffers graceless, simplistic agitprop instead of careful plotting or characterizations. David, the Israeli interrogator, is a tormented Holocaust survivor, a caricature here whose pleasure is watching a ``prisoner's skin change from red-crimson-purple to indigo. When the left side of the body became a mixture of black and purple he would switch to the right. The ultimate was an even colour all over.'' To Faqir, the Palestinians are like nisanit blossoms: able to survive the heat, the desert flower takes so deep a hold in the ground that it can't be rooted out. Shadeed the terrorist ruminates on peace: ``It would never spread over their country until these aggressors stopped polluting their air.'' His relationship with Eman develops at a fairy-tale-fast gallop; her father, a Palestinian, was hanged in a failed coup to overthrow the Democratic State of Ishmael--apparently Jordan--and Eman believes that she is doomed to lose everyone she loves. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
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