Palestinian heart break
Isabella Hammad and Marte Heian-Engdahl
Zadie Smith and Jonathan Safran Foer are among the writers praising the ambitious debut of Isabella Hammad, The Parisian. The novel, inspired by Hammad’s own family history, follows the young Palestinian Midhat Kamel, travelling from Nablus to France to study medicine just as the Ottoman Empire is crumbling and the first world war begins. When Kamel later returns to his home city, both he and it have been transformed.
An epic, grand love story, the novel also explores borders and migrations, racism and class as well as the relationship between Europe, the Middle East and the Palestinians in the crucial first half of the 20th century.
Hammad was schedueled to attend the House of Literature on 22. April, but was prevented from attending due to the current situation. She will now meet her Norwegian audience digitally, in conversation with Marte Heian-Engdal, Head of Development at NOREF and author of Palestinian Refugees after 1948.