This Is Not a Border: Reportage and Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature

Author(s): Ahdaf Soueif

Writing & Reading

The Palestine Festival of Literature was established in 2008. Bringing together writers from all corners of the globe, it aims to help Palestinians break the cultural siege imposed by the Israeli military occupation, to strengthen their artistic links with the rest of the world, and to reaffirm, in the words of Edward Said, 'the power of culture over the culture of power'.Celebrating the tenth anniversary of PalFest, This Is Not a Border is a collection of essays, poems and stories from some of the world's most distinguished artists, responding to their experiences at this unique festival. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, their gathered work is a testament to the power of literature to promote solidarity and courage in the most desperate of situations.Contributors: Susan Abulhawa, Suad Amiry, Victoria Brittain, Jehan Bseiso, Teju Cole, Molly Crabapple, Selma Dabbagh, Mahmoud Darwish, Najwan Darwish, Geoff Dyer, Yasmin El-Rifae, Adam Foulds, Ru Freeman, Omar Robert Hamilton, Suheir Hammad, Nathalie Handal, Mohammed Hanif, Jeremy Harding, Rachel Holmes, John Horner, Remi Kanazi, Brigid Keenan, Mercedes Kemp, Omar El-Khairy, Nancy Kricorian, Sabrina Mahfouz, Jamal Mahjoub, Henning Mankell, Claire Messud, China Mi�ville, Pankaj Mishra, Deborah Moggach, Muiz, Maath Musleh, Michael Palin, Ed Pavli�Atef Abu Saif, Kamila Shamsie, Raja Shehadeh, Gillian Slovo, Ahdaf Soueif, Linda Spalding, Will Sutcliffe, Alice WalkerWith messages from China Achebe, Michael Ondaatje and J. M. Coetzee


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Writers from Michael Palin to Claire Messud, Michael Ondaatje to Richard Ford have spent a week crossing military checkpoints to perform literary events across Palestine. Their words are now collected in a breathtakingly original book of new writing

A literary festival as well as a journey ... it has made me quite poignantly aware of what the occupation means to people and of their determination to speak up for the writers and musicians who feel that the occupation has taken their voice away ... An eye-opening experience -- Michael Palin Every literary act, whether it is a great epic poem or an honest piece of journalism or a simple nonsense tale for children is a blow against the forces of stupidity and ignorance and darkness ... The Palestine Festival of Literature exists to do just that - and I salute it for its work. Not only this year but for as long as it is necessary -- Philip Pullman PalFest is not only the most powerful and important literary festival it's ever been my privilege to attend, it's one of the most powerful and important things I've experienced, full stop -- China Mieville PalFest has quickly established itself a much-loved international festival. As a charity, it is unique in bringing creativity, beauty, partnership, and tolerance into all our lives, and I can't think of many cultural institutions more deserving of our full support -- Andrew O'Hagan It's a festival like no other. It is so much more than a festival. Stimulating and enjoyable - I hope so anyway! - for the Palestinians, it is an eye-opening and moving educational experience for the visiting participants ... A vital part of the cultural and political calendar -- Geoff Dyer The festival is a recognition of the independent life of the Palestinian people. Coming through the invisible barrier of fear has actually filled me with hope. I found deep humanity on the other side -- Adam Foulds PalFest's uniqueness stems from the fact that during the day it allows writers to carry out that most important of writerly tasks - bear witness ... We go to PalFest to feel ourselves part of the world -- Kamila Shamsie PalFest is a necessary, confronting and enlightening event for anyone with an interest in writing, freedom and human rights ... A life-changing experience -- Bidisha Thanks for being who you are and for giving us such exposure to wonderful people. Palestine is proud of you -- Suad Amiry Truly life-changing ... As a human being and as a writer, this was a revelatory experience -- William Sutcliffe Packed with so much genius and courage and heart I don't know what to say except thank you and I have new favourite writers -- Molly Crabapple The most rewarding - and challenging - literary festival a writer could hope to take part in -- Jeremy Harding One of the most affecting trips of my life -- Sabrina Mahfouz PalFest is a visionary enterprise, there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world that I know of, the radiant intimacy of writing, live audiences, bodies and souls touching, all in a land surviving under occupation -- Meena Alexander

Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the Booker Prize-shortlisted The Map of Love as well as the memoir of the January 2011 revolution, Cairo: A City Transformed. She co-founded the Palestine Festival of Literature and is based in both Cairo and London. Omar Robert Hamilton is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. He co-founded the Palestine Festival of Literature and the Mosireen media collective in Cairo. He is based between Cairo and New York.

General Fields

  • : 9781408884980
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : May 2017
  • : United Kingdom
  • : May 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Ahdaf Soueif
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : en
  • : 808.800511
  • : 320