I wrote this scene years ago, and it weathered the passage of time nicely; I am fairly convinced that it will make it to the final cut.
This excerpt starts off in Palestine, 1937. It mostly deals with the Israeli Palestinian conflict, which I thought about and researched a great deal. The scene I am about to narrate can be considered but a prelude to the treatment of the conflict later in the book. For one, I am glad the book is in a fiction form. This format is well suited for a nuanced, mature treatment of this complex issue--with multiple voices and questions that do not have clear cut or single answers.
I have started working on the Hearing about eight years ago. In fact, The Blueprint, which got published since, started off as a research piece that was going to be used in The Hearing.
The Hearing is a complex, serious piece. And it is everything of worth I wish to say about the social maladies of our world. I have no intention of producing further works on this subject, so this is going to be my magnum opus on the matter of our civilization.
What makes this book particularly challenging is its format: it is ultimately a nonfiction work in the guise of a novel. In that sense, The Hearing is in the category of works like Ishmael, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Ecotopia.
The amount of research that the book has entailed is extraordinary. I think this is going to pay off when it comes to the factual rigor and depth of analysis in The Hearing.
There would be something in the book for everyone to get indignant over. Had I pulled any punches, now, where would have been the fun in that?