An Interview with Sami Michael

Sami Michael is an Iraqi-born, Israeli author. Claudia De Martino interviews him for Med Arab News. I was particularly interested in his switch-over from writing in Arabic to writing in Hebrew (not particularly Hebrew, but any diasporic switch):

“Back in Iraq, I was writing in Arabic and it took me 15 years to switch from Arabic to Hebrew writing. In those 15 years, I never published novels in Arabic, but many short and long stories. I also wrote for a newspaper for 5 years; I was on the editorial board of Arabic language newspapers. But the reason why I never published a single novel in Arabic is that authors in exile have to write in the language of the country in which they live, otherwise they do not find readers and most of them became frustrated.”

A 2006 interview with Michael.

Of Michael’s books, two are available in English (I believe): A Trumpet in the Wadi and Refuge.