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This Is Not a Border

Reportage & Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature

J.M. Coetzee, William Sutcliffe, Michael Ondaatje, Teju Cole, Alice Walker, Michael Palin, Deborah Moggach, China Miéville, Jeremy Harding, Henning Mankell, Molly Crabapple, Linda Spalding, Adam Foulds, Gillian Slovo, Geoff Dyer, Chinua Achebe, Mahmoud Da

Bloomsbury USA

This Is Not a Border Download image

ISBN10: 1632868849
ISBN13: 9781632868848

Paperback

352 Pages

$23.00

CA$30.00

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The Palestine Festival of Literature was established in 2008 by authors Ahdaf Soueif, Brigid Keenan, Victoria Brittain and Omar Robert Hamilton. Bringing writers from all corners of the globe to Palestine, it aimed to break the cultural siege imposed by the Israeli military occupation, to strengthen artistic links with the rest of the world, and to reaffirm, in the words of Edward Said, "the power of culture over the culture of power."

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of PalFest, This Is Not a Border is a collection of essays, poems, and sketches from some of the world's most distinguished artists, responding to their experiences at this unique festival. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, their gathered work is a testament to the power of literature to promote solidarity and hope in the most desperate of situations.

Table of Contents:

Map

Introduction by Ahdaf Soueif
“Welcome” by Mahmoud Darwish
“Where does Palestine begin?” by Yasmin El-Rifae
“The Gaza Suite: Gaza” by Suheir Hammad
“Jerusalem” by Ahdaf Soueif
“Draw Your Own Conclusion” by J. M. Coetzee
“Three Encounters on the West Bank” by Mercedes Kemp
“Through the Looking-Glass” by Adam Foulds
“”Sleeping in Gaza” by Najwan Darwish
“Once upon a Jerusalem” by Susan Abulhawa
“Permission to Enter” by Jeremy Harding
“Privatising Allenby” by Saud Amiry
“Allenby Border Crossing” by Sabrina Mahfouz
“Qalandia” by Gillian Slovo
“After Ten Years” by John Horner
“Diary” by Brigid Keenan
“India and Israel: An Ideological Convergence” by Pankaj Mishra
“In the Company of Writers” by Kamila Shamsie
“The Gaza Suite: Jabaliya” by Suheir Hammad
“Letters from Gaza” by Atef Abu Saif
“Gaza, from Cairo” by Selma Dabbagh
“Gaza, From the Diaspora—Part One” by Jehan Bseiso
“Darkening the Dramaturgy” by Omar El-Khairy
“This Poem Will Not End Apartheid” by Remi Kanazi
“An Image” by Geoff Dyer”
“Poetry and Protest” by Maath Musleh
“Cold Violence” by Teju Cole
“The City of David” by Ghada Karmi
“The Writer’s Job” by William Sutcliffe
“Gaza, From the Diaspora—Part One” by Jehan Bseiso
“Equality, Supremacy and Security” by Ed Pavlie
“A Gift for PalFest” by Alice Walker
“Drawing PalFest” by Muiz
“Diary” by Deborah Moggach
“Until it isn’t” by Remi Kanazi
“Sight” by Ru Freeman
“The End of Apartheid” by Henning Mankell
“What We Witnessed” by Michael Ondaatje
“Stories from the Armenian Quarter” by Nancy Kricorian
“A Scramble of Authors” by Michael Palin
“Bethlehem” by Sabrina Mahfouz
“Crucifixion” by Nathalie Handal
“Pakistan/Palestine” by Mohammed Hanif
“Hebron” by Sabrina Mahfouz
“The Stranglehold” by Victoria Brittain
“The Sound of a Festival” by Chinua Achebe
“South Africa and Israel: A Familiar Geography” by Rachel Holmes
“The Gaza Suite: Rafah” by Suheir Hammad
“Shujaiyya Dust” by Molly Crabapple
“Gaza” by Sabrina Mahfouz
“A Decade of Writers’ Walks” by Raja Shehadeh
“Let Your Lives Speak” by Linda Spalding
“A Bus Stop in London” by Najwan Darwish
“The Scattering” by Claire Messud
“How to Survive Exile” by Sabrina Mahfouz
“What We Talk About When We Talk About Palestine” by Jamal Mahjoub
“The Gaza Suite: Tel El Hawa” by Suheir Hammad
“Exit Strategy” by China Mieville
“The Gaza Suite: Zeitoun” by Suheir Hammad
“The End of Art is Peace” by Omar Robert Hamilton

Author Biographies
Credits

Reviews

Praise for This Is Not a Border

“Every literary act, whether it is a great epic poem or an honest piece of journalism or a simple nonsense tale for children is a blow against the forces of stupidity and ignorance and darkness . . . The Palestine Festival of Literature exists to do just that—and I salute it for its work. Not only this year but for as long as it is necessary.”—Philip Pullman

“A literary festival as well as a journey . . . it has made me quite poignantly aware of what the occupation means to people and of their determination to speak up for the writers and musicians who feel that the occupation has taken their voice away . . . An eye-opening experience.”—Michael Palin

“PalFest is not only the most powerful and important literary festival it’s ever been my privilege to attend, it’s one of the most powerful and important things I’ve experienced, full stop.”—China Miéville

“PalFest has quickly established itself a much-loved international festival. As a charity, it is unique in bringing creativity, beauty, partnership, and tolerance into all our lives, and I can't think of many cultural institutions more deserving of our full support.”—Andrew O'Hagan

“PalFest’s uniqueness stems from the fact that during the day it allows writers to carry out that most important of writerly tasks—bear witness . . . We go to PalFest to feel ourselves part of the world.”—Kamila Shamsie

"In This Is Not a Border: Reportage & Reflections from the Palestine Festival of Literature, an impressive, global team of writers reflect on their experiences traveling to the Palestinian Occupied Territories . . . fascinating, intimate and brutally candid . . . This Is Not a Border transcends politics to reveal the common humanity of our world, to uncover optimism and hope in the most hopeless of places. Ultimately, the collection is a testament to the enduring power of art to unite people."—Shelf Awareness

"The writers express the belief that words will be the things with feathers that will eventually bring attention—and peace . . . A chorus of lyrical voices singing hopefully about a most contentious, divisive, and violent situation."—Kirkus Reviews

"Commemorating 10 extraordinary years of PalFest, the Palestine Festival of Literature, mother-son cofounders Soueif and Hamilton gathered 47 literary luminaries to create this essential testimony . . . Throughout this gathering of essays, poetry, reportage, and confessions, certain words—apartheid, erasure, pain, powerlessness, complicity, waiting, wasting, humiliation, absurdity—repeatedly resonate. But what linger longest are hope, expectation, and the demand for peace."—Booklist (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

J.M. Coetzee, William Sutcliffe, Michael Ondaatje, Teju Cole, Alice Walker, Michael Palin, Deborah Moggach, China Miéville, Jeremy Harding, Henning Mankell, Molly Crabapple, Linda Spalding, Adam Foulds, Gillian Slovo, Geoff Dyer, Chinua Achebe, Mahmoud Da

Ahdaf Soueif is the author of Aisha, Sandpiper, and In the Eye of the Sun. Her bestselling novel The Map of Love was shortlisted for a Booker Prize. The founder of PalFest, she is a key political commentator on Egypt and Palestine. Soueif lives in London and Cairo. ahdafsoueif.com

Omar Robert Hamilton co-founded PalFest and has written for the Guardian, the London Review of Books, and Guernica. His debut novel, The City Always Wins, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus. orhamilton.com

J. M. Coetzee