Main : history, human rights, non-fiction
216 x 140 mm
Penny Johnson, Raja Shehadeh (eds.)
"Palestine-in-exile," says Rana Barakat, "is an idea, a love, a goal, a movement, a massacre, a march, a parade, a poem, a thesis, a novel and yes, a commodity, as well as a people scattered, displaced, dispossessed and determined."
How do Palestinians live, imagine and reflect on home and exile in this period of a stateless and transitory Palestine, a deeply contested and crisis-ridden national project, and a sharp escalation in Israeli state violence and accompanying Palestinian oppression? How can exile and home be written?
Fifteen innovative and outstanding Palestinian writers–essayists, poets, novelists, critics, artists and memorists–respond with their reflections, experiences, memories and polemics. What is it like, in the words of Lila Abu-Lughod to be "drafted into being Palestinian?" What happenes when you take your American children, as Sharif Elmusa does, to the refugee camp where you were raised? And how can you convince, as Suad Amiry attempts to do, a weary airport official to continue searching for a code for a country that isn't recognised.
Contributors probe the past through unconventional memories, reflecting on 1948 when it all began. But they are also deeply interested in beginnings, imagining, in the words of Mischa Hiller, "a Palestine that reflects who we are now and who we hope to become." Their contributions–poignant, humorous, intimate, reflective, intensely political–make an offering that is remarkable for the candour and grace with which it explores the many individual and collective experiences of waiting, living for a seeking Palestine.
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How can an essentially sad story give such pleasure? The answer is in these narratives: these stories, memoirs, poems are a pleasure and an education; personal, vivid, original, sometimes witty, always accomplished, always honest. They are a testimonial to the human spirit, and to the growing contribution of Palestine to literature.Ahdaf Soueif, Booker Prize Finalist for The Map of Love
And so whilst reading, each chapter of Seeking Palestine offers a new element to the image of Palestine, weaving together an eclectic mix of writers, each offering a new lens through which to view, understand and imagine their country and exile.Amelia Smith, Memo Middle East Monitor
This is an extraordinarily frank, fresh and unsentimental assessment of what Palestinians are and have become. It is not only a testimony as to the strength, dedication and sticking power of Palestinian people, but also of the writers themselves.Selma Dabbagh, The Electronic Intifada
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: Neither Homeland Nor Exile Are Words
Nothing in My Life is Neutral
Home and Exile in East Jerusalem
Diary of an Internal Exile: Three Entries
Of Place, Time and Language
Susan Abul Hawa
Memories of Home in a Can of Tuna
Jean Said Makdisi
The Driver Mahmoud
Portable Absence: My Camp Re-membered
A Song from Haifa
Palestine that Never Was: Five Poems and an Introduction
The Right to Wait: Exile, Home and Return
Running from Ramallah
Onions and Diamonds
Exiled from Revolution
Lila Abu Lughod
Pushing at the Door: My Father’s Political Education, and Mine
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