The Woman from Tantoura

A Novel of Palestine

Radwa Ashour
Translated byKay Heikkinen

Palestine. For most of us, the word brings to mind a series of confused images and disjointed associations—massacres, refugee camps, UN resolutions,

English edition
15 June 2014
376 pp.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774166150
For sale worldwide

$22.95

Palestine. For most of us, the word brings to mind a series of confused images and disjointed associations—massacres, refugee camps, UN resolutions, settlements, terrorist attacks, war, occupation, checkered kuffiyehs and suicide bombers, a seemingly endless cycle of death and destruction. This novel does not shy away from such painful images, but it is first and foremost a powerful human story, following the life of a young girl from her days in the village of al-Tantoura in Palestine up to the dawn of the new century. We participate in events as they unfold, seeing them through the uneducated but sharply intelligent mind of Ruqayya, as she tries to make sense of all that has happened to her and her family. With her, we live her love of her land and of her people; we feel the repeated pain of loss, of diaspora, and of cross-generational misunderstanding; and above all, we come to know her indomitable human spirit. As we read we discover that we have become part of Ruqayya’s family, and her voice will remain with us long after we have closed the book.

Radwa Ashour

Radwa Ashour, a highly acclaimed Egyptian writer and scholar, is the author of more than fifteen books of fiction, memoir, and criticism; among them, Siraaj and Granada have been published in English. She is a recipient of the Constantine Cavafy Prize for Literature. Barbara Romaine has been teaching Arabic for nearly two decades, currently at Villanova University. Her other translations include Bahaa Taher’s novel Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery and Radwa Ashour’s Siraaj. She received an NEA fellowship to support the translation of Specters.
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