Yesterday in Jerusalem, Palestinian author Suad Amiry launched her latest book, Golda Slept Here, just released by Bloomsbury:
Although the book was released earlier by the Indian publisher Women Unlimited as part of its Arabesque series, it is now being re-released by Bloomsbury for a new English audience.
Amiry, a gifted tragicomic writer, also has written a number of other nonfiction books: Sharon and My Mother-in-Law, Menopausal Palestine and Nothing to Lose but Your Life.
In Amiry’s latest, the titular Golda is Golda Meir, a former prime minister of Israel who lived in what had been an Arab house in Jerusalem.
The spark for the book was apparently a demonstration in West Jerusalem. Roughly 20 Palestinian homeowners, including Amiry, went and stood silently in front of their old homes.
Amiry mixes nostalgia with anger while mocking Israeli doublespeak that seeks to wipe out any trace of a Palestinian past in West Jerusalem. She juxtaposes serial bombardments and personal tragedies; evokes the sights and smells of Palestinian architecture and food; and weaves for us the tapestry that is the Palestinian reality, caught between official histories and private memories. Through poetry and prose, monologue and dialogue, we glimpse the lost Palestinian landscape, obscured by the silent battle between remembering and forgetting.
Amiry is also an architect by training, an eye which she surely will have brought to the book.
Also this year, Amiry won Italy’s Nonino Prize for Promoting Peace and this new book, Golda ha dormito qui, is also available in Italian.
One ‘Golda Slept Here’
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