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Mornings in Jenin

Mornings in Jenin Cover

Mornings in Jenin

By Susan Abulhawa

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Paperback, 9781608190461, 331pp.

Publication Date: February 2, 2010

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Description

Mornings in Jenin is a multi-generational story about a Palestinian family. Forcibly removed from the olive-farming village of Ein Hod by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948, the Abulhejos are displaced to live in canvas tents in the Jenin refugee camp. We follow the Abulhejo family as they live through a half century of violent history. Amidst the loss and fear, hatred and pain, as their tents are replaced by more forebodingly permanent cinderblock huts, there is always the waiting, waiting to return to a lost home.

The novel's voice is that of Amal, the granddaughter of the old village patriarch, a bright, sensitive girl who makes it out of the camps, only to return years later, to marry and bear a child. Through her eyes, with her evolving vision, we get the story of her brothers, one who is kidnapped to be raised Jewish, one who will end with bombs strapped to his middle. But of the many interwoven stories, stretching backward and forward in time, none is more important than Amal's own. Her story is one of love and loss, of childhood and marriage and parenthood, and finally the need to share her history with her daughter, to preserve the greatest love she has.

Set against one of the twentieth century's most intractable political conflicts, Mornings in Jenin is a deeply human novel - a novel of history, identity, friendship, love, terrorism, surrender, courage, and hope. Its power forces us to take a fresh look at one of the defining conflicts of our lifetimes.



About the Author
Susan Abulhawa was born to refugees of the Six Day War of 1967, and moved to the United States as a teenager. In 2001, she founded Playgrounds for Palestine, Inc., to build playgrounds for children in occupied territories. A biologist, mother, and activist, Susan has contributed essays to the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications. Mornings in Jenin, her first novel, was published in a hardcover edition by Journey Publications in 2006 under the title The Scar of David, but fell out of print. It will now be widely available for the first time, in a fully revised edition. Her Web site is www.scarofdavid.com.


Praise For Mornings in Jenin

“In these lean times for the book industry, a second chance for a work of literary fiction is beyond fantastical—akin to seeing the Mona Lisa twitch. To resort to a quaint phrase from publishing days of yore, someone at Bloomsbury obviously believed in this book, and, politics aside for a moment, it's easy to see why. Abulhawa is a passionate writer whose limber, poetic style transports a reader deep inside the war-torn world she chronicles…. Melodramatic? Certainly. Polemical? Absolutely. But, Mornings in Jenin is also a terrifically affecting novel, thanks to Abulhawa's elegance as a writer. It's a novel to savor.”—Maureen Corrigan, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Abulhawa has created a compassionate, ground-level view of a Palestinian family caught in the heart-wrenching realities of life in the Middle East.”—Dianna Marder, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“In the acknowledgments to her novel Mornings in Jenin (Bloomsbury, February), Susan Abulhawa recalls being inspired by Edward Said’s lament “that the Palestinian narrative was lacking in literature.” Published as Scars of David in 2006, Abulhawa’s newly re-edited novel fills that gap, chronicling the development of the Jewish state and its consequences for local Arabs from a decidedly Palestinian perspective.”Tablet: A New Read on Jewish Life

“In this richly detailed, beautiful and resonant novel examining the Palestinian and Jewish conflicts from the mid-20th century to 2002 … Abulhawa gives the terrible conflict a human face … [and] makes a great effort to empathize with all sides and tells an affecting and important story that succeeds as both literature and social commentary.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Audacious, no-holds-barred account of a Palestinian family’s suffering during 60 years of Israeli occupation … A potent debut.”Kirkus Reviews

“Abulhawa’s debut novel is a powerful portrayal of what might be labeled the “other side” of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the viewpoint of Palestinian refugees uprooted in 1948…. An intimate look at the refugee existence by a daughter of refugees.”Booklist

Mornings in Jenin is a powerful and passionate insight into what many Palestinians have had to endure since the state of Israel was created. Susan Abulhawa guides us through traumatic events with anger and great tenderness too, creating unforgettable images of a world in which humanity and inhumanity, selflessness and selfishness, love and hate grow so close to each other.”—Michael Palin

Mornings in Jenin is a powerful and sensitive narrative that encapsulates the Palestinian experience with searing honesty and moving compassion. Susan Abulhawa displays linguistic and imaginative skills that single her out as a literary figure with tremendous promise… In both its specific Palestinian content and its larger human dimension, this novel is at once a challenge to complacency and ignorance as well as an affirmation of all that is enduring and valuable in the undefeated human spirit.”—Hanan Ashrawi, founder and Secretary General of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), and author of This Side of Peace: A Personal Account

“A powerful and heartbreaking book.”—Esther Freud

“The voice of Susan Abulhawa is honest, every word is heartfelt, the aim to honour history and acknowledge its facts. This book is a ‘tour’ waiting to take with it all kinds of readers: the already converted, the uninformed, and especially those who are fortunate enough to live secure lives.”—Hanan al-Shaykh

I finished Susan Abulhawa’s novel last night. As I came to the end I could hardly bear to read it. But I did and I loved it ... what she’s done is that great Jane Eyre thing: here is my life, here is a life, from the very beginning to its very end; here is her family and her heart, her people and her land. You travel with her on every page.”—Carmen Callil

“I love Mornings in Jenin … It really is a great work—the epic novel the Palestinian tragedy has been waiting for.”— Robin Yassin-Kassab

 

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