Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New review: Susan Muaddi Darraj’s ‘A Curious Land’

The Electronic Intifada, 13th June 2016

A Curious Land begins in 1916 with a group of Bedouin refugees fleeing the violence and famine which wreaked havoc across the Levant during the First World War.
Although many of the characters encountered in this first story are subsequently never mentioned again, the way they are presented is key to how Palestine is seen and conceptualized. The borders which rigidly divide the modern Middle East are meaningless; this small band of survivors passes from the Jordanian town of al-Salt (closely linked to Nablus through trade and familial connections since the 18th century), across the Galilee and into what is now Lebanon.
The members of the group, although bound by family ties, are also from diverse origins: one mentions a European slave in her ancestry, another lays claim to Roma blood in explaining her gypsy-like skills in healing. This is an image of “Palestinian-ness” which is generous and inclusive.

The full article is here.

One comment on “New review: Susan Muaddi Darraj’s ‘A Curious Land’

  1. Rafik
    June 15, 2016

    The time of this story , i think , after the signing of Sykes-picot treaty which historicizes the the political and social status in that part of the map. All the Palestinian writers writes what we call post-post- memory since the survivors of that period of time passed away. I read some auto/biographies of Palestinian writers and poets as well as novelists who wrote their own stories as individuals and the story of the collective.

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