Author Spotlight: Samuel John Hazo

Book: The Time Remaining

Author of The Time Remaining, Samuel John Hazo was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Lebansese and Assyrian immigrants. During his early childhood, his mother died and his aunt took over as the primary caretaker of him and his brother. Hazo attributes his passion and path of discovery through writing to his aunt, who made education a top priority from him and his brother. In The Time Remaining, Hazo ideally depicts the Palestinian issue through a fight between natural law and the law of love, which is a human rights issue in the modern day Israeli government.
 

Most of your works seem to be personal reflections and relevant to your life. Was The Time Remaining inspired by a personal struggle?

The Time Remaining is essentially a love story that becomes interwoven with the plight of the Palestinians in the Middle East.  The main character, Dodge Gilchrist, having been disappointed in love in his twenties, has more or less resolved that he will not become love’s victim again.   He resists his feelings for Raya for that reason.  But he is fighting a natural law, and the law of love eventually wins.  The often involuntary but undeniable response of a person to genuine love is a theme that has always drawn me.  Likewise, the plight of the Palestinians is based on the refusal of the Israeli governments to recognize the human rights to which the Palestinians and all other human beings are entitled.  Such rights—like love—will eventually prevail, despite all resistance to the contrary.”

You have written 7 poems and 8 books. How is the journey of writing a poem versus a book like The Time Remaining different for you?

“Any writer will tell you that he writes in whatever form his inspiration dictates. The writing of poems has, of course, helped me to refine whatever skills I have as a writer, but the theme of The Time Remaining came to me in the form of the characters and the struggle in which the characters found themselves.”

What do you hope the reader gains from this book?

“I hope the reader identifies with the love of Gilchrist and Raya first of all.  Then I hope that the reader gains a more human insight into the Palestinian issue, which is for me one of the foremost if not the foremost human rights issue in the world today.”

You express much of your wisdom and expression of feeling through your works. Is The Time Remaining meant to advise others to discover what is most important in their lives?

 “I shun messages. I let the characters tell their story in dialogue and action.  What people will draw from that I’ll never know, but I hope it will be both enlightening and a pleasure.”

Samuel Hazo’s book will be published this Fall. Pre-Order at the Syracuse University Press website.

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