Reaching Nablus, in the West Bank, from Jordan takes planning, and patience.
There is the circuitous drive to the closest border checkpoint. There are the notoriously long lines and waits to make the crossing. But if you’re fortunate, as was the British-Palestinian writer Isabella Hammad, you may have as your guide a “force of nature” grandmother, who comes prepared with a detailed itinerary and a game plan.
When Hammad, 27, first visited Palestine six years ago, it was, in some ways, the culmination of a childhood in which memories and family stories about the region — especially coming from her grandmother — were always present. During that trip, she spent months in the Middle East conducting research and collecting oral histories. Now she has channeled those stories into her debut novel, “The Parisian.”
The book, a sweeping historical novel that opens in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, comes out on Tuesday from Grove Press. It follows a Palestinian from Nablus, Midhat Kamal, from roughly 1914 to the mid-1930s, as the region is poised to change hands from Ottoman to British control. To avoid being forced to fight in World War I, Midhat goes to Montpellier to study medicine, moves to Paris and finally returns to Palestine after a few years. The character is based on Hammad’s great-grandfather, whose nickname in Nablus, “al-Barisi,” means “the Parisian” in Arabic.
“The Parisian” has attracted a good deal of advance praise. The novelist Zadie Smith, who taught Hammad in the M.F.A. program at New York University, called it “uncommonly poised and truly beautiful.” The writer Nathan Englander, in a blurb, called it a “beautifully written, expansive powerhouse.”
Hammad joins a group of contemporary Palestinian authors, virtually all of them female, who write in English, including Hala Alyan, Etaf Rum, Randa Jarrar, Susan Abulhawa and Selma Dabbagh. Their books share common themes: Many of the stories unfold both in the Middle East and the West, and explore how displacement, nostalgia and loss are refracted across generations of families.
But “The Parisian” is among the first to be set in the era before the founding of Israel: before the 1967 war that led to occupation and the displacement of scores of families, before the uprisings known as the intifadas, before the Palestinian-Israeli conflict became a global political flash point.
While the timeline of Midhat’s life offered a natural framing for the book, Hammad was also interested in exploring a point of view that showed “the complexity of Palestinian life” and avoided reductive characterizations of Palestinians as either militants or victims.
“Any time you write about Palestine, it’s going to be political,” Hammad said over lunch last month. “But I wasn’t interested in looking at debate that pertained to the current time.” The book “is painting a specific picture of what happened from the Palestinian perspective,” she said, “but I didn’t want to write something that felt like, ‘This is the definitive history.’”
Born to a British-Irish mother and a Palestinian father, Hammad first had the idea to write about Midhat when she was a teenager.
Hammad’s father, Saad, said it was important to foster in his children a curiosity about their heritage, particularly because they were not able to visit the region as children. “That’s what makes you whole, as a person,” he said, “to look at all the dimensions of yourself.”
Hammad’s grandmother is a “fixture” in the Palestinian community in London, and Hammad recalls growing up exposed to its culture and history. As a child she once attended a lecture by the Palestinian academic and critic Edward Said with her father — “I’m certain I slept through most of it, but I felt very cool to have been there,” she said, laughing — and read her father’s copy of Said’s pioneering work, “Orientalism.”
Literature offered an alternative way to understand history. “We didn’t learn about empire in school — I came to understand the British Empire through books,” she said, citing Said as an influence along with Chinua Achebe, Virginia Woolf, the Black Mountain poets and Scottish myth.
She graduated with a literature degree from Oxford in 2012, then spent months in the Middle East doing research, interviewing Palestinians, historians, architects and geographers.
“I basically said to anyone, If you have a grandparent with a good memory, I’d like to talk with them,” Hammad said. She spent time with extended family members and others — her grandmother came prepared with a Filofax of names — including people with “very, very vivid memories” who remembered her great-grandfather, which helped stoke her imagination and evoke the mood of the city at that time. Back in Britain, Hammad supplemented those accounts with archival research and documents from British soldiers in the Middle East, including a guidebook “about Jews and Palestinians, their inclinations, their temperament, their history,” she said.
She came to the United States to attend Harvard as a Kennedy Scholar, then enrolled in the M.F.A. program at N.Y.U. to focus on the book. By the time she sat down to start writing, in 2013, the research and stories “had become part of my own brain.”
“The Parisian” calls to mind a 19th-century novel. Midhat enjoys taking walks around Paris and returns to Palestine with a dapper wardrobe that includes a cane. There is a purloined letter and a halted romance. And despite the tumult going on around him, Midhat is more preoccupied by his inner life than the surrounding political activity.
His personal turmoil stems from conflicting identities (“He was two men,” Hammad writes), and from believing he belongs equally in Palestine and Europe yet feeling like an outsider in both places.
Midhat isn’t the only one unsure of his place in Nablus. Some characters are skeptical of his affinity for Europe, particularly in the context of the region’s fight for self-determination. As one person observes: “To be a Parisian in Nablus was to be out of step with the times, locked in an old colonial formula where subjects imitated masters as if in the seams of their old garments they hoped to find some dust of power left trapped.”
The book “has the feeling of a classic,” said Elisabeth Schmitz, Hammad’s editor at Grove. They worked on it simultaneously with Michal Shavit, an editor with Hammad’s British publisher, Jonathan Cape. (The novel will be published in Britain this month, and Hammad has also sold the Arabic rights to the book.) “It’s the most exciting debut we’ve had in a very long time,” Schmitz said, and hopefully a story that will help readers “understand how we reached the brink of this intractable place.”
Hammad is at work on her second novel — a more contemporary story, she said — and while she plans to stay in New York for now, she hopes to visit Palestine again in the future. She prefers having a foot in both worlds, she said. “I like being between places.”B:
马报资料网站【龙】【儿】【望】【着】【惜】【儿】【问】【道】：“【什】【么】【事】【情】？” “【就】【是】【驸】【马】【的】【人】【选】，【当】【初】【你】【也】【知】【道】，【有】【三】【个】【候】【选】【人】【通】【过】【了】，【如】【今】【臣】【妹】【心】【下】【已】【经】【有】【了】【结】【果】。”【惜】【儿】【说】【道】。 “【是】【何】【人】？” 【龙】【儿】【来】【了】【兴】【趣】，【但】【他】【大】【致】【也】【已】【猜】【测】【到】【了】。 “【青】【冥】。”【惜】【儿】【看】【着】【龙】【儿】【认】【真】【的】【说】【道】，【青】【冥】【正】【是】【蓝】【衣】【男】【子】【的】【名】【字】。 “【青】【冥】【是】【何】【人】？”【龙】【儿】【询】【问】【道】
【花】【鸟】【成】【群】【的】【山】【谷】【之】【中】。 【百】【花】【绽】【放】，【林】【木】【繁】【茂】，【时】【而】【有】【着】【淡】【淡】【的】【白】【雾】【升】【腾】，【紧】【贴】【着】【地】【面】【一】【两】【米】【左】【右】【的】【高】【度】，【好】【似】【一】【片】【人】【间】【仙】【境】。 【在】【这】【一】【片】【世】【外】【桃】【源】【般】【的】【山】【谷】【之】【中】，【有】【着】【一】【座】【银】【色】【瀑】【布】【从】【天】【而】【降】，【瀑】【布】【之】【水】【直】【下】【三】【千】【尺】，【宛】【若】【九】【天】【银】【河】【垂】【落】【而】【下】。 【巨】【大】【的】【水】【柱】【冲】【进】【湛】【蓝】【的】【湖】【泊】【之】【中】，【发】【出】【隆】【隆】【巨】【响】，【水】【雾】【迷】【蒙】，
【书】【名】：【真】【道】【争】。 【快】【来】，【快】【来】，【快】【来】！！！ 【人】【间】【剑】【皇】【又】【一】【旷】【世】【巨】【作】！！！ 【快】【来】【收】【藏】【呀】！！！！
【大】【魔】【头】【的】【功】【力】【真】【的】【不】【是】【盖】【的】，【与】【鬼】【婆】【婆】【交】【手】【丝】【毫】【没】【有】【落】【下】【风】，【几】【招】【之】【内】，【就】【有】【压】【倒】【性】【的】【优】【势】。 【李】【连】【在】【一】【旁】【冷】【冷】【地】【看】【着】【打】【斗】【的】【两】【人】，【似】【乎】【不】【打】【算】【出】【手】，【偶】【尔】【眼】【神】【瞟】【到】【顾】【清】【歌】【身】【上】【似】【乎】【在】【监】【视】【什】【么】。 【顾】【清】【歌】【感】【知】【到】【一】【旁】【的】【窥】【探】，【想】【起】【之】【前】【他】【们】【的】【对】【话】，【心】【中】【已】【有】【了】【猜】【测】，【大】【概】【是】【为】【了】【自】【己】【之】【前】【从】【桃】【师】【姐】【那】【里】【得】【到】【的】【那】
【顿】【了】【顿】，【艾】【诺】【斯】【才】【再】【次】【开】【口】【道】：“【后】【来】，【因】【为】【一】【些】【原】【因】，【克】【里】【人】【抛】【下】【了】【他】【们】【调】【制】【出】【的】【生】【物】【兵】【器】，【匆】【匆】【离】【开】【了】【月】【球】。” 【其】【实】【就】【是】【被】【永】【恒】【神】【族】【给】【揍】【了】【一】【顿】，【然】【后】【就】【急】【匆】【匆】【的】【跑】【路】【了】。 【艾】【诺】【斯】【在】【心】【里】【补】【充】【了】【一】【句】，【有】【收】【藏】【家】【这】【样】【一】【个】【老】【不】【死】【的】【朋】【友】【兼】【合】【作】【者】，【他】【对】【于】【很】【多】【宇】【宙】【秘】【闻】【都】【了】【如】【指】【掌】。 【就】【比】【如】【说】：【克】【里】【人】马报资料网站【说】【起】《【变】【形】【计】》【估】【计】【大】【家】【想】【到】【的】【都】【是】【王】【境】【泽】，【他】【因】【为】【在】【节】【目】【中】【一】【句】“【真】【香】”【走】【红】【于】【网】【络】。《【变】【形】【计】》【现】【在】【已】【经】【开】【播】14【年】，【有】19【季】【节】【目】。【相】【信】【很】【多】【人】【看】【到】【还】【会】【很】【惊】【讶】，《【变】【形】【计】》【还】【在】【播】？
【君】【王】【阁】【的】【府】【邸】【上】【有】【龙】【吟】【声】【响】【起】，【更】【有】【玩】【家】【亲】【眼】【目】【睹】，【一】【只】【纯】【白】【色】【蛟】【龙】【头】【俯】【冲】【云】【端】。 【有】【目】【测】【着】【更】【是】【画】【出】【那】【龙】【形】【模】【样】，【甚】【至】【有】【人】【断】【定】，【这】【只】【蛟】【龙】【应】【该】【就】【是】【三】【年】【前】【在】【大】【漠】【城】【外】【海】【域】【上】【空】【斩】【杀】【太】【古】【小】【巨】【人】【后】【携】【灵】【蛟】【一】【族】【幸】【存】【老】【幼】【逃】【离】【的】【灵】【蛟】【一】【族】【太】【子】，【怒】【离】。 【龙】【之】【遗】【迹】【开】【启】，【灵】【蛟】【一】【族】【的】【太】【子】【又】【在】【消】【失】【三】【年】【后】【突】【然】【现】【身】【君】
【白】【依】【晨】【长】【相】【甜】【美】【可】【人】，【是】【华】【京】【大】【学】【的】【校】【花】，【人】【气】【很】【高】，【不】【然】【一】【断】【也】【不】【会】【冒】【着】【这】【么】【大】【的】【风】【险】，【帮】【忙】【到】【黑】【暗】【深】【渊】【这】【种】【禁】【地】【做】【任】【务】。 【平】【日】【的】【她】【女】【神】【范】【十】【足】，【温】【婉】【清】【纯】，【说】【话】【也】【是】【柔】【声】【软】【语】，【何】【曾】【像】【现】【在】【这】【么】【失】【态】。 【林】【轩】【脸】【上】【闪】【着】【错】【愕】【的】【神】【色】，【似】【乎】【没】【有】【想】【到】【自】【己】【的】【身】【份】【居】【然】【这】【么】【快】【就】【被】【认】【出】【来】，【旁】【边】【夏】【七】【夕】【则】【是】【似】【笑】【非】
【狄】【迩】【把】【电】【视】【关】【掉】，【屏】【幕】【中】【那】【张】【相】【似】【的】【脸】，【几】【乎】【每】【天】【都】【会】【要】【出】【现】【在】【财】【经】【频】【道】【的】【新】【闻】【中】。 【霍】【氏】【和】【乔】【氏】【强】【强】【联】【手】，【还】【真】【是】【天】【作】【之】【合】。 【怪】【不】【乔】【思】【对】【他】【最】【近】【冷】【淡】【了】【不】【少】，【是】【想】【和】【他】【撇】【清】【关】【系】，【重】【新】【追】【求】【那】【个】【男】【人】【吗】？ 【握】【着】【纸】【杯】【的】【手】，【倏】【然】【捏】【紧】，【杯】【中】【的】【水】【溅】【了】【出】【来】，【洒】【在】【了】【手】【机】【的】【屏】【幕】【上】。 【碰】【巧】【此】【时】，【女】【人】【的】【微】【信】