In this masterful debut novel, Plimpton Prize winner Isabella Hammad delivers a sweeping, brilliantly crafted portrait of a young man's coming-of-age alongside the embattled development of a nation.
Midhat Kamal is the son of a wealthy textile merchant from Nablus, a town in Ottoman Palestine. In 1914 he leaves to study medicine in France, and falls in love. A dreamer, a romantic, an aesthete--when he returns to Nablus to find it under British rule, and the entire region 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.
Against a landscape of political change that continues to define the Middle East, The Parisian explores questions of power and identity, the subject and the subjected, enduring love, and the uncanny ability of the past to disrupt the present. Lush and immersive, devastating in its power, The Parisian is an elegant, richly-imagined debut from a dazzling new voice in fiction.