Ghada Karmi's book "smoulders with defiance": The National reviews Return

British Palestinian writer Ghada Karmi is the author of In Search of Fatima, an intimate account of growing up in Britain following her family's exile from Palestine. Her new memoir Return (out May 19) details her experiences working as a media consultant to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Her encounters with politicians, fellow Palestinians, and Israeli soldiers on this "return" cause her to question what role diaspora Palestinians like her have in the future of their country and whether return is truly possible.

A recent review in UAE newspaper The National calls Karmi's new book "compulsive reading." 

From the review:

Return is compulsive reading, whether its author is embroiled in office politics or trying to make sense of national politics. The book is punctuated with bouts of violence and ensuing fear of reprisals, none of which prevents Karmi going out and seeking answers. As she learns, she teaches us. Often it is the smallest details that captivate: the country most young Palestinians want to study in is America (“the very country”, Karmi says, “which perpetuated Palestinian misery by giving Israel the arms it used against the Palestinians”). Footnotes – each one elucidatory rather than scholarly – provide dates and concrete facts, covering topics such as the history of the PLO and the enmity between Hamas and Fatah.

Karmi’s first memoir was affecting because it skilfully traced her dislocation in exile.

What makes Return even more affecting is that Karmi feels just as dislocated back in her native land. Anguish and frustration permeate this tale of homecoming, but at the same time it smoulders with defiance and is crafted with considerable intelligence and beauty.

Read the full review here.

Return: A Palestinian Memoir is on sale May 19, 2015. 

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