Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Parisian

Nablus. Fiction can help readers understand life in a time and place especially through an intense focus on one character’s life. In her debut novel titled, The Parisian, Isabella Hammad tells us about life in Nablus, Palestine in the early 20th century. Protagonist Midhat Kamal is the son of a wealthy merchant and attains the moniker in the title after his father sent him to study medicine in Paris in 1914. Midhat finds a different Nablus after he returns from Paris: British occupation and activists pressing for nationalism. Midhat’s life doesn’t turn out as he or others expected. Neither has Palestine. Here’s one of my favorite lines from late in the novel: p. 547: “When I look at my life,” he said, “I see a whole list of mistakes. Lovely, beautiful mistakes. I wouldn’t change them.” Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase The Parisian from

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