Gathered here are five wide-ranging interviews with the internationally renowned Palestinian scholar and critic Edward Said (1935–2003). In conversation with David Barsamian, director of Alternative Radio, these interviews cover a broad range of topics, from Said’s groundbreaking work of literary scholarship, Orientalism, to music and popular culture. These conversations span the years 1987–94, a pivotal era in the Palestinian liberation movement during which Said testifies with stunning insight and eloquence to the crimes of the Israeli occupation and the betrayals of the PLO leadership.
Following the 1993 Oslo accords, Said tells Barsamian, “The idea of a collective memory is now rapidly becoming disallowed even by Palestinians. That’s something which I find unacceptable.” From this collection emerges a history that is both haunting—imbued with knowledge of loss and desire for justice for all Palestinians—and urgently needed to understand today’s conflict.
With an introduction by Eqbal Ahmad, and a new preface from Nubar Hovsepian, this is an indispensable introduction to one of the twentieth century’s foremost critical intellectuals.