A woman reeling from a disastrous love affair finds love and hope in Shakespeare and Palestine - from the award-winning author of The Parisian
***A SUNDAY TIMES AND OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023***
'Different to anything else being written right now in English'
After years away from her family's homeland, and reeling from a disastrous love affair, actress Sonia Nasir returns to Haifa to visit her older sister Haneen. While Haneen made a life here commuting to Tel Aviv to teach at the university, Sonia remained in London to focus on her acting career and now dissolute marriage. On her return, she finds her relationship to Palestine is fragile, both bone-deep and new.
When Sonia meets the charismatic and candid Mariam, a local director, she joins a production of Hamlet in the West Bank. Soon, Sonia is rehearsing Gertrude's lines in classical Arabic with a dedicated group of men who, in spite of competing egos and priorities, all want to bring Shakespeare to that side of the wall. As opening night draws closer and the warring intensifies, it becomes clear just how many obstacles stand before the troupe. Amidst it all, the life Sonia once knew starts to give way to the daunting, exhilarating possibility of finding a new self in her ancestral home.
Timely, thoughtful, and passionate, Isabella Hammad's highly anticipated second novel is an exquisite story of the connection to be found in family and shared resistance.
'A pretty flawless writer'
Feels completely different to anything else being written right now in English, a heartfelt meditation on the relationship between art and politics. * Sunday Times *
Enter Ghost retells Hamlet for now, dropping its readers deep into the contemporary tensions of the West Bank, asking crucial and layered questions... Hammad is a calm and vital storyteller, a writer of real rhythmic grace. -- Ali Smith, author of Autumn
A powerful new novel... Hammad is a pretty flawless writer. * The Times *
Beautifully written, poignant yet forceful, thoughtful and thought provoking, but above all challengingthe reader to respond to the question facing the characters in the novel: how to live under occupation while preserving your dignity and humanity? Hammad answers this question through taking us into the hearts and minds of the characters in the novel and through that into the heart and mind of Palestine. -- Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
A thought-provoking and highly topical story about the complex connections to be found in art, politics and family life. * Sunday Times, *Books of the Year* *
Enter Ghost is a masterful, deeply convincing portrait of the all-too-real consequences of political theater - in both senses. A moving and important novel that presses upon the urgent question of how we ought to live in the midst of the rubble (and ongoing chaos) of political crisis. -- Namwali Serpell, author of The Old Drift
A magnificent, deeply imagined story... A thought-provoking, engrossing story about the connections to be found in art, politics and family life. * Sunday Times *
Outstanding. Next-level. Aesthetically, intellectually, emotionally and culturally satisfying... Isabella Hammad is incapable of striking a false note. She immerses her heroine in volatile territory with the accuracy, compassion and coolness of a surgical knife sliding into a diseased body. The result is a stunning beauty - an eye-opening, uplifting novel that grants its vulnerable cast and their endeavors a rare and graceful dignity. -- Leila Aboulela, author of Minaret
There could hardly be a more urgent time to understand the inner lives of Palestinians, which are here depicted with poignance and grace. * Observer, *Books of the Year* *
A richly layered novel... Hammad takes her time, writing with an elegant, confident poise and accumulation of detail this is refreshingly unfashionable. * Observer *
Dimensions: 240mm x 162mm x 32mm