Touch by Adania Shibli
"The most talked-about writer on the West Bank." -- Ahdaf Soueif, author of In the Eye of the Sun
Touch centers on a girl, the youngest of nine sisters in a Palestinian family. In the singular world of this novella, this young woman's everyday experiences--watching a funeral procession, fighting with her siblings, learning to read, perhaps falling in love--resonate until they have become as weighty as any national tragedy. The smallest sensations compel, the events of history only lurk at the edges--the question of Palestine, the massacre at Sabra and Shatila. In a language that feels at once natural and alienated, Shibli breaks with the traditions of modern Arabic fiction, creating a work that has been and will continue to be hailed across literatures. Here every ordinary word, ordinary action is a small stone dropped into water: of inevitable consequence. We find ourselves mesmerized one quiet ripple at a time.