A Curious Land: Stories from Home

A Curious Land Stories from Home Susan Muaddi Darraj s short story collection about the inhabitants of a Palestinian West Bank village Tel al Hilou spans generations and continents to explore ideas of memory belonging connection

  • Title: A Curious Land: Stories from Home
  • Author: Susan MuaddiDarraj
  • ISBN: 9781625341877
  • Page: 466
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Susan Muaddi Darraj s short story collection about the inhabitants of a Palestinian West Bank village, Tel al Hilou, spans generations and continents to explore ideas of memory, belonging, connection, and, ultimately, the deepest and richest meaning of home A Curious Land gives voice to the experiences of Palestinians in the last century American Library Association BOOKSusan Muaddi Darraj s short story collection about the inhabitants of a Palestinian West Bank village, Tel al Hilou, spans generations and continents to explore ideas of memory, belonging, connection, and, ultimately, the deepest and richest meaning of home A Curious Land gives voice to the experiences of Palestinians in the last century American Library Association BOOKLIST This year s Grace Paley Award, aka the AWP Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award, completely overcomes the effete image that sometimes demeans it Darraj writes traditional, tragic love stories set among Orthodox Palestinians during periods of historical unrest, for example, 1916, 1936, 1966, 1978, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1996, and 1998 Therefore, she charts the exit of the British and rise of the Israelis, and the Palestinians are on the bloody end of the stick, but Darraj keeps history in the background and instead portrays ordinary people in the impoverished village of Tel al Hilou In Rocky Soil, sweethearts are torn apart when a family woos an American visitor with their daughter, Eveline the boy left behind, Emad, internalizes his jilting and becomes a miserly workaholic, holding several jobs, winning a degree in economics Then Eveline, divorced, broken, and with a little daughter in tow, returns Equally moving is The Well, about the middle daughter of three, Amira, who disdains the usual, vital path of marriage, apprenticing herself to a wise nun She intends to become a nun herself, but when her aunt dies in childbirth, leaving her poor uncle with five children to care for, Amira realizes what God intends for her A superb collection and a perfect selection for public libraries John Mort

    One thought on “A Curious Land: Stories from Home”

    1. Awesome - recommend to anyone! I love short stories that can stand alone but also link together. This book was a wonderful read - I couldn't put it down.

    2. What did I think? I loved it, , I loved it. Full disclosure, though: I went to school with the author. Still, I don't read or like just anything, and in fact I tend to go more for thrillers or mysteries or straight horror. But A Curious Land gripped me from the start. Darraj weaves a complex literal tapestry of one small Palestinian village over the course of many decades, and although there are a plethora of characters, none are lost in the shuffle. Indeed, each chapter is so carefully written [...]

    3. An engaging set of (somewhat-loosely) interlocking narratives. These stories follow interesting people who find themselves in situations that feel so true to character and unfold so effortlessly they almost don't feel shaped at all (this is a compliment). Given that they are mostly set in a small Palestinian village, these stories offer (especially to someone like me, who knows very little about this part of the world) insight into a different culture while demonstrating the common humanity that [...]

    4. I loved A CURIOUS LAND. The stories are masterfully linked by their characters, members of a single village whose tales intertwine and overlap in epic, unexpected ways over the course of several generations, creating a rich, multi-faceted portrait of a Palestinian family. A collection I can't wait to re-read.

    5. This is a "must read" for just about anyone: all fans of the written word, anyone who appreciates a good story - and great storytelling. And that's coming from a guy who usually prefers fiction with spaceships and wizards and stuff! I don't normally go in for this sort of straight ahead realism on my off-time, but I was entranced by the intricacies of the stories, and the way they all work together so beautifully. A single line in one story can bring immense catharsis to a plot line from a previ [...]

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