Book Review: The Woman From Tantoura

  An unfulfilled desire has no sanctuary other than remembrance. Radwa Ashour’s novel, The Woman from Tantoura (Hoopoe Fiction, 2019), explores the ramifications of memory and how its story is told. Chronology, while important, plays a lesser role than emotions, while memory takes on its own trajectory. “The story moves on, but sometimes not completely, because as…

Book Review: My Name is Adam

One cannot speak of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948 without touching upon identity and its ramifications. Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury’s novel, My Name is Adam is replete with questions and answers regarding identity, juxtaposed against inscribed recollections of the ethnic cleansing of Lydda. No matter the veneer one strives to don as part of the journey moving…

BOOK REVIEW: The Palestinian Novel from 1948 to the present

Bashir Abu-Manneh’s detailed study “The Palestinian novel: From 1948 to the present” (Cambridge University Press, 2016) combines the historical processes of Palestinian memory and postcolonial and literary theory in a manner which brings the various narratives and experiences of Palestinians to the fore. There is a unifying factor identified by the author – dispossession –…

BOOK REVIEW ‘Mahmoud Darwish: Literature and the politics of Palestinian identity’

Far from accentuating the glorification that is synonymous with Mahmoud Darwish and his beautiful poetry, the new biography “Mahmoud Darwish: literature and the politics of Palestinian identity” by Muna Abu Eid (I.B. Tauris, 2016) is a competent exercise in revealing the intricacies of Palestinian collective memory combined with the complex persona of the man himself….

BOOK REVIEW:Life Lived in Relief — Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics

Refugee narratives beyond those which reach the mainstream media are fraught with complexities, while humanitarian aid remains insufficient. Ilana Feldman’s treatise “Life Lived in Relief — Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics” (University of California Press, 2018) focuses on the discrepancies between the political and purportedly apolitical dynamics of the humanitarian sector. Feldman’s overview of…

BOOK REVIEW: Jerusalem Stands Alone

Space, silence and encroachment intertwine, while a prevailing solitude emanates from the pages of Mahmoud Shukair’s novel ‘Jerusalem Stands Alone’, translated by Nicola Fares and published by Syracuse University Press. The title itself is an intense metaphor that is felt throughout the book. Jerusalem is alone and its inhabitants navigate the space between community relations,…

Humanitarian aid is overtly politicised, just not in favour of the Palestinians

The 2019 humanitarian plan for Palestinians in the occupied territories will allocate $350 million for aid intervention, according to Ramallah’s Minister of Social Development Ibrahim Al-Shaer and UN envoy Jamie McGoldrick. The people of Palestine remain divested of their legitimate human and civil rights in order to retain the imposed status of near-total aid dependency….

BOOK REVIEW: Rest In My Shade

There is always a time between the concepts of the present and forever which is inscribed in our remembrance. It is the beauty of memory which enables us to transcend and live within this truth. “Rest in My Shade” (Interlink Books, 2018) explores this reality through an illustrated poem about roots and Palestinian collective memory….