Sep 27 2011
Shortly I first arrived in Vancouver, one of my first freelance journalism gigs here was writing for the Western Jewish Bulletin (which today is called the Jewish Independent). So it’s particularly heartwarming to see my novel, A History of the Middle Eastside, covered in that worthy publication. Thanks for the feature, people.
Explained Narvey to the Independent, “Two clichés I’ve often heard when discussing the politics of the Middle East, whether in formal surroundings or over pints at the pub: ‘It’s a rough neighborhood’ and ‘It’s complicated.’ So I ran with that: ‘What if I write a novel that breaks down the 20th century of the region into a simple parable of street gangs stabbing each other over turf?’
“I thought back to Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. I was also reading Michael Chabon’s incredible novel, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. I thought that writing in that style, with the story set in a surreal world of gangsters and the underworld, might be both entertaining and also accessible for a mainstream audience.”
He added, “If you like a rip-roaring tale of action, it works straight up as a pulp fiction gangster novel. If you’ve already got a pretty thorough grounding in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and world diplomacy in the 20th century, or want to learn a bit more about it, it works on a deeper level as well. I like the idea that it can educate, though from what I’ve heard from some of my readers, it can also feed into preexisting biases. It is what you make of it.”
Buy a copy of A History of the Middle Eastside on Amazon