Well, he’s not a boy at all, but a husband and father of two, and he’s local in the sense that John and I are local—he’s transplanted himself to Budapest. He’s also a prolific writer. His name’s Adam LeBor, and he’s scored a major NYT review of his latest book, City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa.
That said, I admit to taking some issue with the reviewer, who says, “This story of the colonial Jew and displaced Palestinian fits current fashion â€” particularly in Britain, where this book first appeared â€” and is no less fragmentary than the other.” This use of “current fashion” and some earlier lines suggest Adam chose Jaffa over Jerusalem to help him tell a fashionably pro-Palestinian story. Knowing Adam, I don’t think anyone would ever accuse him of knee-jerk, or trendy, anti-Zionist writing. He, like John, cut his teeth on the Yugoslav conflicts, so he understands the complexities of ethnic conflict, and is a proud Jew in a country that doesn’t always take to Jews all that well.
Kudos to Adam for what we all know is a major event in any book’s life, and happens to only the rarest of titles. Of course, Adam’s already a celeb by virtue of, if nothing else, his CNN appearance and being the author of the first English-language bio of Slobodan Milosevic. Onward, and upward!
(Originally posted at the Contemporary Nomad)