Today we talk about The Other, a book by Marina Ergas published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Marina Ergas to get to know her better, what led her to the writing of her book The Other, as well as what is the message she wants to convey to the readers by telling her personal experience.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What particularly significant experiences in your life find expression in your story?
Throughout my life one particular passage of scriptures influenced my way of thinking and acting. In the book of Deuteronomy 16 ( 18-20) we find this sentence:
“you shall appoint magistrates and officials for your tribes in all the settlements that Adonai, your god, is giving you and they shall govern the people with justice; you shall not judge unfairly: you shall show no partiality; you shall not take bribes, for bribes blind the eyes of the discerning and upset the plea of the just.
justice justice shall you purse………”
I used my personal life story in order to convey a message of justice and condemn injustice. The main experience in my book is my moving to a kibbutz in Israel, it goes through the history of the country and my decision to leave it fifty years later. Moving to Israel, I was trying to find some justice for my people who had suffered discrimination throughout history. The kibbutz was a search for social justice. The conclusion of the book is a way to struggle for the same principle: justice for all people.
- Is there a particular moment in your life that led you to the writing of your book?
In Israel I have been active in the peace camp, looking for a possible solution to the long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, between Arabs and Jews; talking and getting to know the “enemy”; demonstrating together; looking at the humanity in all people present in the conflict. For a few years this peace movement grew on both sides, there was really a growing feeling that a solution could be found; different governments had different attitudes to the subject. In 1993 Yitzhak Rabin, than prime minister, for the first time started his talks with Yasser Arafat, the head of the Fatah party. Talks were held in Norway and the Oslo agreement was the outcome. We really hoped the main step towards peace was made. Than Rabin was murdered by the forces that refused the agreements. Sadness and disappointment was strong on us who fought so much. Darkness has killed light somehow. I sat down and started writing my book out of desperation.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
I would like my book to be read by Jews and Arabs in particular and by anyone interested in building a better world, in order not only to see “your side” of the story but to leave the black and white solutions and understand there is a grey area that everyone should be aware off. I wrote the book trying to find a way to continue the struggle towards peace, not seeing any possibility to do it on the ground. I would like my readers to think deeply about their connection to the “other”, not only in the contest of the Israeli/Palestinians conflict, but in general to the “other” as in every society nowadays there is an “other”. I was invited to speak about the book in different schools in Italy and in Germany about this general subject. The reaction of the students gave me strong hope in the new generation.
- What sensation did you feel by reading your life in the pages of your book?
A sensation of accomplishment. I dreamt to write a book for all my life, and I have been writing all my life. Whenever something that I considered important and meaningful happened, I wrote it down. So I had a lot of material ready to process. I read and re-read the book many times and, at every time, I felt like I was living, again and again, the situation I found myself in. I also had the feeling that I could have written more and also the sensation of having being as honest as possible, even if I know the book would have been criticised by all the ones who oppose the ideas that I express. I also had a feeling of relief writing things that sometimes I didn’t have the courage of speaking about. A strong feeling has been and still is the wish that a lot of people would read me and really understand my words.
- Do you plan to write more books?
I have written another book but, for the time being it has not been translated into English. The name of the book is “dumia’ ”in Hebrew there are two words to say silence:
sheket: absence of sound
dumia’: the inner silence
This book is a real autobiography of all the adventures I had during my life. I am now thinking to write a book about an unusual virtual relationship between a Syrian refugee who lives today in Istanbul and myself; a relationship between enemies which today, after three years of daily messengers, have become best friends. Writing does come on command. I hope I will find the right moment to sit down and start writing again a full story or maybe in the future I will be able to write about a long lasting peace in all the middle east.
Europe Books thanks the author Emily Hart once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book Exposed. We wish her the best of luck for this novel and for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish you to get absorbed by the engaging events that characterise the story the author tells in her book. She has for sure a lot to say on the matter. You may find interesting to know her truth in relation to what she writes about and hopefully it could help you to see things from other perspectives. Perspectives that comes from having actually lived the experiences the author narrates.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to have and enjoyable and interesting reading!