New Palestinian literature examines exile, memory and nostalgia


Words Without Borders, the widely-respected magazine of world literature in translation, has devoted its May 2015 edition to new writing from Palestine.

As the blurb for the special edition emphasizes, the “eight young authors here work in multiple languages and hail from five continents, testifying to Palestinian literature’s vast thematic, stylistic, and linguistic range.”

Nathalie Handal, the guest editor for the edition, put it another way in her incisiveintroduction: “Wherever Palestinians are scattered, be it in Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, in refugee camps in the Arab world, or displaced around the globe, they are confined to the particularities of whatever boundaries — national or physical, psychological or emotional — they were dealt after the Nakba.”

The multiplicity of languages, countries of domicile and life experiences of the contributors to be found in this Words Without Borders issue is testament to that enforced diversity.

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