The Parisian (Paperback)Isabella Hammad (author)
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Arriving on a torrent of critical acclaim, including a glowing recommendation from Zadie Smith, Isabella Hammad’s debut is an ambitious and superbly realised historical epic. Part love story, part social drama it moves from Palestine to Montpellier and Paris during a turbulent period from the end of the Ottoman Empire to the outbreak of the Second World War. Beautifully – tenderly – written, it’s a story that sings in its depiction of real lives caught up in history’s undertow.
As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself.
Midhat Kamal picks his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong. Isabella Hammad delicately unpicks the tangled politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era - the Palestinian struggle for independence, the strife of the early twentieth century and the looming shadow of the Second World War.
An intensely human story amidst a global conflict, The Parisian is historical fiction with a remarkable contemporary voice.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 576
Weight: 394 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 34 mm
'Hammad clearly knows her stuff and the book echoes with contemporary political themes' - The Times
'With energy and care, she animates a crucial period of Palestinian history that most readers will know little about' - The Sunday Times
'The Parisian is a sublime reading experience: delicate, restrained, surpassingly intelligent, uncommonly poised and truly beautiful. It is realism in the tradition of Flaubert and Stendhal - everything that happens feels not so much imagined as ordained. That this remarkable historical epic should be the debut of a writer in her twenties seems impossible, yet it's true. Isabella Hammad is an enormous talent and her book is a wonder.' - Zadie Smith
'The Parisian is a lushly imagined, beautifully written, expansive powerhouse of a debut. Isabella Hammad is a great new voice.' - Nathan Englander
'The Parisian is a gripping historical novel, a poignant romance, and a revelatory family epoch. Above all, it is a generous gift. There is a kind of joy that can hold not only pleasure, but struggle, and even sadness. This novel tells that kind of joyful story, and evokes that kind of joy in the reader.' - Jonathan Safran Foer
'The Parisian is a hugely accomplished historical sweep of a book... a novel of immense skill and confidence.' - Ursula Kenny, Observer
'Undeniably beautiful.' - Andrew Holgate, The Times
'An exquisite, intricate and wise novel. I was utterly gripped from the first page until the last. This sweeping, historical epic marks the arrival of a wonderfully gifted author. Isabella Hammad is a marvel and The Parisian is an unforgettable read.' - Irenosen Okojie
'The Parisian is extraordinary-wise, ambitious, and lavishly rewarding. With luminous prose and rare compassion, Bella Hammad offers her readers an absorbing story of war and identity, of love and independence, of hope and history. It's an astonishing novel, heralding the arrival of a major talent.' - Bret Anthony Johnston
'An assured debut novel that sets the life of one man against the tumultuous backdrop of Palestine in the waning years of British occupation... Closely observed and elegantly written.' - Kirkus
'An engrossing, sweeping novel.' - Dipal Acharya, Evening Standard
'Hammad taps into the satisfying slow-burn style of classic literature with a storyline that captures both the heart and the mind...This is an immensely rewarding novel that readers will sink into and savor.' - Publishers Weekly
'Hammad's a writer of startling talent - and The Parisian has the rhythm of life.' - The Observer
'For such a young writer, Isabella Hammad shows rare maturity.' - The Mail
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