Shoot, I'm already dead: Julia Navarro

Fire, I am already dead

Fire, I am already dead

Fire, I am already dead is a historical novel written by the award-winning Spanish journalist and author Julia Navarro. The work was published in 2013, by the Plaza & Janés publishing label. In addition to its main genre, the title mixes suspense, drama and armed conflicts, giving rise to a dense and complex context, of the caliber of writers such as Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.

This novel by Julia Navarro can touch sensitive fibers of many readers, because it addresses key issues in the historical development of two of the most emblematic oriental cultures: the Jewish and the Arab. The problem that has existed between these two worlds for several centuries has given rise to all kinds of opinions. In this sense, Julia Navarro develops an equally polarized story.

Synopsis of Fire, I am already dead

From Jerusalem for the big news

Mary Miller is a journalist who works for a non-governmental organization, which asks her to write a report on Jewish settlement policy. For it, They demand that he interview Aaron Zucker, the military leader which is related to that legislation in the people of Israel. Luckily for the correspondent, the man is in the United States, attending a conference at Columbia University.

One of the bases of Miller's report is to interview both Jews and Palestinians, in order to obtain a broader and more impartial vision of the conflict between both populations. With that in mind, he prepares to make the appointment with the militant.

When you talk to the facilitator, he mentions that someone like her —who lives off the good will of the people— You can't expect anything more from your interviewees., who exist in war zones.

An unexpected interviewee

Journalist can't contact Aaron Zucker, so I know is forced to interview her father, Ezequiel Zucker. At first, Miller is quite disappointed, because she believes that, instead of asking questions to a fox hunter from Israel, she is going to talk to a little bird. However, that man, perhaps, has had many more experiences than his son. In fact, she knows deeply the stories of others who, in a different time, lived directly with the Palestinians.

The first exchanges of the interview are tense, since Marian reproaches the old man for the role of the Jews in the diaspora that Palestine has suffered due to the settlements. The man, without blinking, responds that these policies are not capricious, and that it is, in any case, a culture that is only trying to recover the country where it was born.

Stories are gifts and lessons

Ezekiel's story features his father, Samuel Zucker, as its protagonist. So, Its narrative dates back to the XNUMXth century, era of tsarist Russia. During that period, Jews were victims of pogroms, massacres based on discriminatory and anti-Semitic policies.

In exchange for telling the experiences of his father, Ezequiel proposes to Miller a quid pro quo. That is, he will offer her more information if she agrees to tell him about her opposing perspectives on the conflict.

The woman, already fascinated by the old man's interesting talk, agrees with him to create an exchange, where each one will tell a story.. This reciprocity forces the protagonist to move away from her initial purpose, while she cannot help but feel empathy for both the Jews and the people of Palestine.

The beginning of the conflict

As in any war, there are two or more points of view. In the light of this novel, it all began when, because of terrible legislation, Jews had to escape from Russia and Poland. Many of them fled to Paris, thanks to their trades as merchants. A little later, they decide to leave for the Promised Land from the port of Jaffa. It is here where their history becomes intertwined with that of the Palestinians.

These last, on the other hand, They were dominated by the Ottoman Empire, who, in the mid-XNUMXth century, defeated the Byzantines and changed the name of Constantinople to Istanbul. At the same time, they closed the doors of the treasures of the East to the countries of Europe, particularly to the cities of the Iberian Peninsula. However, much to his regret, after They must ask the Catholic kings for help to carve a path to the East, which takes them across the Atlantic Ocean.

A risky friendship

Samuel Zucker arrives in Palestine during the World War I. In this period, the country was still part of the Ottoman Empire. Since the place is ruled by the Turks, Arabs like Ahmed Zaid only have access to the administration of low-value lands, and do not receive adequate returns for their work.

In this context, The owners of the land ask for more benefits from their usufructuaries. But they are more concerned with pleasing the Turkish feudal lords, so they decide to expel the administrators. Realizing what is happening, Samuel and other men buy the land. However, the Jew, who comes from a socialist background, thinks that he should keep Ahmed Zaid as administrator.

Garden of Hope

When set, Samuel decides to implement the “Garden of Hope”, a rather utopian socialist experience. In it, the Jew promises Ahmed that he will never expel him. At the same time, Samuel recognizes the rights that Palestinians have over land. This treatment weaves between the men an intimate and sincere friendship, but also a series of cultural and religious conflicts.

Similarly, The bond between Samuel and Ahmed's families is affected by problems of political origin that begin to have repercussions on the Palestinian territory during the rest of the First World War.

About the author, Julia Navarro

Julia Navarro

Julia Navarro

Julia Navarro was born in 1953, in Madrid, Spain. She is the daughter of journalist Felipe Navarro (Yale), so, from a very young age, she was surrounded by the news environment. The author began her career at the time of the Spanish Transition. This context allowed him to experience journalism in a turbulent and exciting way, in that transcendental step that led the Iberian Peninsula to forge a Constitution.

Since those years, Julia Navarro is known as a political journalist. The author has worked in several media outlets, such as the OTR/Europa Press Agency, where she published several opinion articles for the Escaño Cero section. Navarro indicates that he began writing fiction almost by chance. Since then, he couldn't stop, and he was so successful that, to this day, lyrics are his main work.

Other books by Julia Navarro

Journalistic books

  • We, the transition (1995);
  • 1982-1996, between Felipe and Aznar (1996);
  • The left that comes (1998);
  • Madam president (1999);
  • The new socialism: the vision of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero / 2001).


  • The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud (2004);
  • The clay bible (2005);
  • The blood of the innocents (2007);
  • Tell me who I am (2010);
  • Story of a scoundrel (2016);
  • You will not kill (2018);
  • From nowhere (2021);
  • a shared history (2023)

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