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Writing in war zones

Writers coping with distraction and blocks brought on by noisy neighbours, interruptions, and extreme heat this summer may view their difficulties in a different light after reading The Guardian‘s piece on how authors in the Middle East are coping and working in the midst of the chaos there.

Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury says the crisis left little time for writing in the last month. “First you have to behave as a citizen, and not a writer. If you have one third of your population [taking refuge] in public schools then you have to help.” Still, he says he managed “to adapt” and work on a novel that provided a mental escape from the situation.

Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, Israeli writer Orly Castel-Bloom says war has pushed her books from postmodernism to pure realism, but she hasn’t been writing much lately. “You have to observe every day, every second so that you know what’s going on. So I left it and watch television all day.”

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Click here for the story in The Guardian