The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist (Paperback)

The Pessoptimist

By Emile Habiby, Imoil Haboiboi, Salma Khadra Jayyusi (Translator)

Interlink Books, 9781566564151, 169pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2001



This contemporary classic, the story of a Palestinian who becomes a citizen of Israel, combines fact and fantasy, tragedy and comedy. Saeed is the comic hero, the luckless fool, whose tale tells of aggression and resistance, terror and heroism, reason and loyalty that typify the hardships and struggles of Arabs in Israel. An informer for the Zionist state, his stupidity, candor, and cowardice make him more of a victim than a villain; but in a series of tragicomic episodes, he is gradually transformed from a disaster-haunted, gullible collaborator into a Palestinian -- no hero still, but a simple man intent on survival and, perhaps, happiness.