Second Person Singular - Sayed Kashua Kashua presents a compelling, compassionate yet sometimes chilling, look at identity -- how we see ourselves, how others see us, what others see in us. His is a universal tale, but also unique in its specifics (people & locale). Things are not always as they seem, whether we deceive ourselves or deceive others (or both or neither). Kashua aptly delineates the divides between wanting to stay true to self, yet to change/have what someone else has/grow. His timely commentaries are so fitting in a locale where identity is a huge part of daily existence.

Of partial importance to the storyline is Tolstoy's novella [b:The Kreutzer Sonata|141077|The Kreutzer Sonata |Leo Tolstoy||2266654] (which I read immediately after finishing Second Person Singular). Kashua masterfully worked in many of Tolstoy's themes & ideas (jealousy, relationships between the sexes, the influence of art in life & passion, etc...), paralleling these ideas in his story -- similar themes, just set in a more modern time & with differing religious beliefs from Tolstoy's.

Overall, a beautifully done work that muses on the nature of identity, our ability or inability to change identity, & the impact of emotion/art/beauty/self to impact our lives.