Book Size: 8" x 5.25"

Pages: 248

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781623716851

Release date: Summer 2024

Category:

A Long Walk from Gaza

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$ 16

About this book

The violence of life in Gaza which has taken on immense proportions for the whole world to see is intimately rendered here in a human story of resistance and resilience.

In the tradition of Palestinian women writers, Asma Al-Atawna has gifted us a novel that is both personal and political, that exposes both the occupation and the patriarchy. A Long Walk from Gaza is a coming-of-age story that follows its teenage protagonist through her battles with a strict and abusive father, the exhilaration of her first crush, confrontations with occupation soldiers, and the heartbreak of leaving her home Gaza for a new life in Europe. Beginning in Europe and working backward to her own birth and early childhood, Al-Atawna’s creative narration mirrors the traumas of her life and her people.

A Long Walk from Gaza not only exposes the harshness of both male authority and the stifling of the dreams of girls in parallel with the devastating conditions Palestinians endure under a brutal Israeli occupation, but also the challenges of fleeing these for a cold, alienating life in Europe. Al-Atawna lays these bare within a story that also showcases moments of humor, joy, and the human capacity to survive and thrive at all costs. She skillfully weaves together the challenges of growing up in occupied Palestine while exposing the many intersections of violence, patriarchy, and growing up in a society that offers girls little to no compassion. Her teenage protagonist’s feminist point of view is fresh and honest, powerfully conveying the heartbreaking truths of her life.

At heart, A Long Walk from Gaza is a tale of freedom. Each of the characters is psychically wounded by their circumstances and each resists in their own way. Gaza comes to life in Al-Atawna’s novel, showing a rich and diverse society—its flaws along with its beauty, showing us worlds, which are being destroyed and some of which no longer exist today.

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About the authors

Born in Gaza in 1978, Asma Al Atawna is a Palestinian Bedouin from the desert of Al Naqb, and a French citizen and resident of Toulouse since 2001. A graduate of English literature from the University of Al Azhar, she then obtained her masters in geopolitics from Sciences Po. While in Gaza, Asma worked at the Spanish press agency EFE. Today, she is a member of the Institute for Experimental Arts La Petite board in the cinema domain. Al Atawna is known for her involvement in art and gender issues.

Caline Nasrallah is a Master’s student at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, where her research focuses on language as a feminist tool. She also works as a translator, mostly from Arabic to English, and has an MA in Translation from the École de traducteurs et d’interprètes de Beyrouth (USJ)

Michelle Hartman is a professor of Arabic and francophone literature at McGill University in Montreal. She is the translator of several works from Arabic, including Radwa Ashour’s memoir The Journey, Iman Humaydan’s novels Wild Mulberries and Other Lives, Jana Elhassan’s IPAF shortlisted novel The Ninety-Ninth Floor, as well as Alexandra Chreiteh’s novels Always Coca Cola and Ali and His Russian Mother.

Reviews

“[The novel] recounts the individual struggle of a woman carving out a path to create a free life for herself. This woman is completely absorbed by finding freedom from all authority—the Israeli occupation, her father, and society alike. It is a novel written with honesty, courage, and a willingness to be confrontational, without fear of judgment. It is as if the writer is using her own words to say what the protagonist says to an Israeli soldier who tells her to get off the bus, ‘I’m not getting off and I’m not moving from here. Stab me if you want!’” — Maha Hassan, Al Araby

About the Author

Caline Nasrallah is a Master’s student at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, where her research focuses on language as a feminist tool. She also works as a translator, mostly from Arabic to English, and has an MA in Translation from the École de traducteurs et d’interprètes de Beyrouth (USJ)

Michelle Hartman is a professor of Arabic and francophone literature at McGill University in Montreal. She is the translator of several works from Arabic, including Radwa Ashour’s memoir The Journey, Iman Humaydan’s novels Wild Mulberries and Other Lives, Jana Elhassan’s IPAF shortlisted novel The Ninety-Ninth Floor, as well as Alexandra Chreiteh’s novels Always Coca Cola and Ali and His Russian Mother.

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