Seeking Palestine: New Palestinian Writings on Exile and Home
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…”
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, and seeking Palestine.