The Parisian: A Novel by Isabella Hammad
The Parisian illuminates a pivotal period of Palestinian history through the journey and romances of one young man, from his studies in France during World War I to his return to Palestine at the dawn of its battle for independence. Midhat Kamal is the son of a wealthy textile merchant from Nablus, a town in Ottoman Palestine. A dreamer, a romantic, and an aesthete, in 1914 he leaves to study medicine in France and falls in love. When Midhat returns to Nablus now under British rule, the entire region is erupting with nationalist fervor, he must find a way to cope with his conflicting loyalties and the expectations of his community. The story of Midhat’s life develops alongside the idea of a nation as he, and those close to him, confront what it means to strive for independence in a world that seems on the verge of falling apart.