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May 2015

New Palestinian Writing

Image: Samia Halaby, “Takheel I” 48” x 66" (2013)

This month we present new Palestinian writing from around the world, selected and introduced by Nathalie Handal. The eight young authors here work in multiple languages and hail from five continents, testifying to Palestinian literature’s vast thematic, stylistic, and linguistic range. In Jerusalem, Sousan Hammad maps a city and a heart, and Najwan Darwish dreams of the sea. From his exile in Reykjavik, Mazen Maarouf speaks of confinement and freedom. Yayha Hassan and Rodrigo Hasbún portray father-son alienation, and Asmaa Alghoul considers the cost of motherhood in wartime. Eyad Barghuthy finds an undefeated young boxer knocked out by politics. And Randa Abdel-Fattah speaks of her hybridized cultural identity as a Palestinian-Australian Muslim. We thank the A. M. Qattan Foundation for its generous support. In our special feature, we present new Bulgarian writing by Agop Melkonyan, Olya Stoyanova, Georgi Tenev, and Vlado Trifonov. We thank the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation for its generous support of the feature.

The Shape of Time: New Palestinian Writing

To comprehend Palestinian literature, we must have an idea of what it is to be Palestinian today.

A Map of Jerusalem

Memory—they tell me—has no translation.

Long Distance

“You’re not going to fool around with your friend’s girlfriend.”


Writing the Lives of Gaza: Video Interview with Atef Abu Saif

Palestinian writer Atef Abu Saif reads from his work.

Solitary Confinement on the Seventh Floor

One day / I’ll tear off my lips / and eat them / like candy.

Both Freedom and Constraint: An Interview with Randa Abdel-Fattah

The older I get, the more I realize how hybridized my cultural identity is.

“Your Baby”

The phantoms behind the white sheet were moving more quickly now.


A Knockout Punch

It was in New York that he learned the real ways of boxing.


Life in Mount Carmel

Their poems reach me from their temple

Father My Unborn Son

A Stone-Age hand a paperback Koran


Book Reviews

Karel Schoeman’s “This Life”

Reviewed by Jonathan Morton

Magda Szabó’s “The Door”

Reviewed by K. Thomas Kahn

Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”

Reviewed by Lori Feathers

Recent Issues

Charged with Humanity: Six Hungarian Women Writers

International Graphic Novels: Volume XII

Singular and Universal: Stories of Parents and Children

Under a Different Light: Writing by Tunisian Women

Within (and Without) These Borders: Writing from the US

What Unites Us: Turkish Short Stories

A Different Solitude: New Writing from Colombia

The New French

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.