Mornings in Jenin: A Novel Paperback – Feb 2 2010
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“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
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. She is the founder of Playgrounds for Palestine, an NGO that builds playgrounds for Palestinian children in the occupied territories and refugee camps elsewhere. Abulhawa has contributed essays to the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications. Mornings in Jenin marks her first major publication as a novelist.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a novel, in a particularly volatile setting where two peoples cannot agree on how to share a homeland that both of them claim. This is a novel about the experiences of a family dispossessed, in order to establish:
`A land without a people for a people without a land.'
But it is a novel, not a biographical history, and as a novel it does not succeed completely.
The main character is Amal, a daughter born in the Jenin refugee camp during the 1960s. Amal's knowledge of life in Ein Hod is indirect, but keenly appreciated as part of her heritage. The early part of the novel, about her grandparents and parents, is the strongest part of the story. Characters and situations come to life, the sense of family and cultural continuity is strong. As a consequence the pain felt when the family is displaced and dispossessed in 1948 is clearly understood. The events of 1967 and 1982 reinforce the continuing tragedy for Amal and members of her family.
But, for me, the novel became less engaging after Amal moves to America. Here the novel changes, it seems, into an historical account of events. The characters we've been following become indistinct as events are described rather than experienced. The horror of the situation becomes blunted as it becomes increasingly more impersonal - until towards the end of the story.
In summary, I'm pleased I read this novel even though the subject matter is uncomfortable and the conflict continues.
Most recent customer reviews
i thought the book was well written and allowed a person like me who knew nothing about the palestian and israeli war to understand the material.Published 16 months ago by asha
This is a good book for those who wish to know the history of the Palestinian refugees.Published 16 months ago by lorraine
I absolutely loved this novel!! I felt like I was living with the characters in Palestine! I was so touched and so emotional especially the last few chapters!!
Amazing. Read more
Susan managed to beautifully portray the years of suffering endured by the Palestinian people while adding the true essence of Palestinian heritage and the ever so enduring hope of... Read morePublished 23 months ago by aya dama
The Palestinian Israeli conflict has always confused me. Who is right? This book let me see into the lives of one family and how it affected them.Published on May 28 2013 by Wilma J. Lamb