Older books – The Arts: Fiction/Poetry/Photography
This page contains details of books previously listed on the Most Recently Published Books page. Books are listed in alphabetical order of the author. All the books were published in 2011 or later.
THE ARTS – FICTION/POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY
Susan Abulhawa: Mornings in Jenin (2011)
Eli Amir: Yasmine (2012)
Grace Beeler, Joan Dobbie & Alicia Ostriker: Before there is nowhere to stand: Palestine/Israel: Poets respond to the struggle (2012)
Henry Ralph Carse: Walls: Photographs of Israel and Palestine (2011)
Michelle Cohen Corasanti: The almond tree (2012)
Selma Dabbagh: Out of it (2012)
Aidan Andrew Dun: Unholyland (2012)
Khaled Furani: Silencing the sea: Secular rhythms in Palestinian poetry (2012)
Emma McEvoy: The Inbetween people (2012)
Harvey Pekar & J.T. Waldman: Not the Israel my parents promised me (2012)
Sara Shilo: The falafel king is dead (2012)
S. Yizhar: Khirbet Khizeh (2011)
Publisher’s description: Palestine, 1948. A mother clutches her six-month-old son as Israeli soldiers march through the village of Ein Hod. In a split second, her son is snatched from her arms and the fate of the Abulheja family is changed forever. Forced into a refugee camp in Jenin and exiled from the ancient village that is their lifeblood, the family struggles to rebuild their world. (…) Mornings in Jenin is a devastating novel of love and loss, war and oppression, and heartbreak and hope, spanning five countries and four generations of one of the most intractable conflicts of our lifetime.
Publisher’s description: “I’m an Arab Jew. I listen to classical music in the morning and Arabic music in the evening.” Surprisingly for someone so young, Nuri Imari (whose family we encountered in The Dove Flyer), is appointed advisor on Arab affairs to the Israeli government. With little guidance he is asked by his boss to “set up an office in East Jerusalem, sniff around to see what’s happening there, meet their effendis, and provide me with your evaluations.” Everyone is reeling from the aftermath of the Six Day War. The Palestinians cannot comprehend their losses, whilst the Israelis are waking up to a new political reality – and new responsibilities. Nuri discovers complexities and loyalties he could never have imagined. He tries to steer a humane course but soon finds himself confronting bigotry and hatred on both sides. And then he meets Yasmine, a Palestinian woman recently returned from Paris…
Publisher’s description: in 2009, the editors, Joan Dobbie and Grace Beeler, both Jewish descendants of Holocaust survivors, reeling against the atrocities of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, the Gaza massacre, issued a call for poetry. The ad, first posted in Poets & Writers read, “Are you Jewish or Palestinian? Of Palestinian or Jewish heritage? Please submit poetry for an anthology that strives for understanding in these troubled times. All points of view wanted in the belief that poetry can create understanding and understanding can dull hatred.” In response, the process that then followed embodied much of the complex dynamic of the conflict itself. Editors, while not wanting to foreclose any possible reading, were met with the need to attend to disparity of voice, asymmetry, and incongruence of historical awareness.
Reviews: none yet available.
Publisher’s description: Henry Ralph Carse is a pilgrim, scholar and practical theologian who has lived in the Middle East for forty years. His beautifully composed images strike a democratic balance between the Israeli and Palestinian cultures. People and places are recorded at crucial moments in the ever-changing disposition of a land in turmoil. Carse’s photographs have a charged immediacy and, at times, a philosophical stillness. They are the photographs of an outsider being absorbed into the fabric of another life. In his introduction Carse writes: “…no one has ever built a wall that could entirely protect the innocent, punish the guilty, separate pure from impure, or thwart the human gaze.”
Reviews: Huffington Post
Publisher’s description: A moving story of family, identity and struggle skilfully told by a very exciting new author. A novel set in the midst of turbulence and written by an author with a real understanding of life on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. With a promising mind that impresses the elders in his village, where family and cause are more important than individual dreams, young Palestinian Ichmad Hamid struggles with his inability to help those who are closest to him. Living on disputed land, his entire village operates in constant fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. But more importantly, they fear losing each other. On Ichmad’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality. With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions destroyed, and his siblings succumbing to hatred, Ichmad begins an inspiring journey to save his desperate and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence, and discovers a new hope for the future. In writing The Almond Tree, Michelle Cohen Corasanti drew upon her personal experience of living in Israel for many years as well as her education in Middle Eastern studies, both in Israel and the US..
Selma Dabbagh: Out of it (Bloomsbury, 2011, paperback, £12.99)
Publisher’s description: Written with extraordinary humanity and humour, and moving between Gaza, London and the Gulf, Out of It is a tale that redefines Palestine and its people. It follows the lives of Rashid and Iman as they try to forge places for themselves in the midst of occupation, religious fundamentalism and the divisions between Palestinian factions. It tells of family secrets, unlikely love stories and unburied tragedies as it captures the frustrations and energies of the modern Arab World.
Publisher’s description: Unholyland is a love story in 264 sonnets. Against the background of daily events in Israel and the West Bank, an Israeli DJ meets and falls in love with a Palestinian rapper. In form, Dun’s verses are a mixture of classical structures and free-ranging rap. They are earthy and immediate, and as well as appealing to regular poetry readers, Unholyland will attract a wider range of people who will be drawn along by the rapidly developing story.
Reviews: Poetry Scotland Reviews
Publisher’s description: Silencing the Sea follows Palestinian poets’ debates about their craft as they traverse multiple and competing realities of secularism and religion, expulsion and occupation, art, politics, immortality, death, fame, and obscurity. Khaled Furani takes his reader down ancient roads and across military checkpoints to join the poets’ worlds and engage with the rhythms of their lifelong journeys in Islamic and Arabic history, language, and verse. (…) Poetry, the traditional repository of Arab history, has become the preeminent medium of Palestinian memory in exile. In probing poets’ writings, this work investigates how struggles over poetic form can host larger struggles over authority, knowledge, language, and freedom. It reveals a very intimate and venerated world, entwining art, intellect, and politics, narrating previously untold stories of a highly stereotyped people.
Reviews: Electronic Intifada
Publisher’s description: ‘I am writing this for you Saleem. I am writing about us, about how I loved you, and how I killed you.’ As Avi Goldberg, the son of a Jewish pioneer, sits at a desk in a dark cell in a military prison in the Negev desert, he fills the long nights writing about his friend Saleem, an Israeli Arab he befriended on a beach one scorching July day, and the story of Saleem’s family, whose loss of their Ancestral home in 1948 cast a long shadow over their lives. Avi and Saleem understand about the past: they believe it can be buried, reduced to nothing. But then September 2000 comes and war breaks out – endless, unforgiving and filled with loss. And in the midst of the Intifada, which rips their peoples apart, they both learn that war devours everything, that even seemingly insignificant, utterly mundane, things get lost in war and that, sometimes, if you do not speak of these things, they are lost to you forever. Set amongst the white chalk Galilee Mountains and the hostile desert terrain of the Negev Desert, the inbetween people is a story of longing that deals with hatred, forgiveness, and the search for redemption.
Publisher’s description: Harvey Pekar’s mother was a Zionist by way of politics. His father was a Zionist by way of faith. Whether Harvey was going to daily Hebrew classes or attending Zionist picnics, he grew up a staunch supporter of the Jewish state. But soon he found himself questioning the very beliefs and ideals of his parents. In Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me, the final graphic memoir from the man who defined the genre, Pekar explores what it means to be Jewish and what Israel means to the Jews. Over the course of a single day in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Pekar and the illustrator JT Waldman wrestle with the mythologies and realities surrounding the Jewish homeland. Pekar interweaves his increasing disillusionment with the modern state of Israel with a comprehensive history of the Jewish people from biblical times to the present, and the result is a personal and historical odyssey of uncommon power. Plainspoken and empathetic, Pekar had no patience for injustice and prejudice in any form, and though he comes to understand the roots of his parents’ unquestioning love for Israel, he arrives at the firm belief that all peoples should be held to the same universal standards of decency, fairness, and democracy.
Publisher’s description: The town has lost its famed falafel king, but the Dadon family have also lost a father and husband. Living with the daily threat of Katyusha missiles from neighbouring Lebanon, and struggling to survive amid the rubble of their lives, Simona and her three children each find their own way of coping with their grief, their fear and their hopes. Raw, lyrical, shocking and moving, Sara Shilo’s powerful debut novel recounts the life of an ordinary Israeli family over the course of a single, extraordinary day in prose that we have never before encountered in contemporary Hebrew literature.
Publisher’s description: This 1949 novella about the violent expulsion of Palestinian villagers by the Israeli army has long been considered a modern Hebrew masterpiece, and it has also given rise to fierce controversy over the years. Published just months after the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Khirbet Khizeh (…) was an immediate sensation when it first appeared. (…) The various debates it has prompted would themselves make Khirbet Khizeh worth reading, but the novella is much more than a vital historical document: it is also a great work of art. Yizhar’s haunting, lyrical style and charged registration of the landscape are in many ways as startling as his wrenchingly honest view of one of Israel’s defining moments. Despite its international reputation, this is the first UK publication of Khirbet Khizeh.