In East Jerusalem Noir—published simultaneously with West Jerusalem Noir—the Akashic Noir Series turns its gaze to one of the world’s most fascinating locales, in this volume from the perspective of Palestinian writers; translated from Arabic
"East Jerusalem's thorny politics run through each of the thirteen stories comprising this sturdy entry in Akashic's long-running regional noir series, which is being published simultaneously with West Jerusalem Noir . . . Written with passion and empathy, the volume's strength lies in giving voice to the varied experiences of Palestinians who live, work, and write in one of the world's most complicated cities. It's a fascinating glimpse of life under occupation." —Publishers Weekly
FROM THE EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION: "When you move through the streets of Jerusalem today, you will notice that history surrounds you from all sides. You hear Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin from the Dome of the Rock; you hear the bells of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the Christians pray, accompanied by the voices of the Jewish worshippers at the Wailing Wall. You are filled with awe and stand helpless to do anything except feel both joy and sadness at the same time. Your feelings mingle, your thoughts get confused, and you peer at the sky waiting for God's mercy and relief . . . The stories here are varied, and I did not interfere with the writers' content. I asked them to portray the city of Jerusalem as they live it, as they feel it, as they appreciate it, as they fear it, as they want it to be, and as they imagine it in the past, the present, and the future . . . And now we put the black box in your hands! Kindly open it to reveal the secrets of Jerusalem and its people, who wake up to the sound of a forgotten rooster from a previous era to declare the beginning of a new dawn, so that life will not stop recording its new diary entries."
Featuring brand-new stories by: Nuzha Abu Ghosh, Ibrahim Jouhar, Osama Alaysa, Rahaf al-Sa'ad, Ziad Khadash, Mahmoud Shukair, Iyad Shamasnah, Rafiqa Othman, Dima al-Samman, Majid Abu Ghosh, Muhammad Shuraim, Jameel al-Salhout, and Nuzha al-Ramlawi.
Translated from Arabic by: Roger Allen, Marilyn Booth, Catherine Cobham, Raphael Cormack, Sawad Hussain, Dr. Nazih Kassis, Nancy Roberts, and Max Weiss.
East Jerusalem Noir is being published simultaneously with West Jerusalem Noir, edited by Maayan Eitan. The companion volume explores the city with brand-new stories by Israeli authors.
About the Author
RAWYA JARJOURA BURBARA was born in Nazareth in 1969. She currently serves as chief inspector director of Arabic at the Ministry of Education, and is a lecturer in Oranim College’s language department. Burbara is also a writer, and her tenth book, a collection of short stories titled I Do Not Want to Get Used to You, was published in 2021. Her Arabic novel On the Shores of Wandering was translated into Hebrew and published by Pardes in 2020. She edited the collection East Jerusalem Noir.
Israelis rarely venture into East Jerusalem, its neighborhoods as foreign as those of a different country. Israeli readers may be uncomfortable with the short stories of East Jerusalem Noir, for they are tales of house demolitions, separation walls, checkpoints, and destroyed villages. But they are also tales of heavenly faiths that call out to residents to fill the emptiness of their lives with prayer . . . The stories tell of the unfulfilled hopes and dreams of East Jerusalem residents, their lives vastly different from those living in the western half of the city.
— Times of Israel
These two varied collections of stories, published simultaneously, are set in a kaleidoscopic Jerusalem that is impossible to describe with a single voice. Both volumes attempt to render one of the world’s oldest, bloodiest, holiest, and most divided cities . . . It might be said that any story set in a city so steeped in violent history, so scrawled with religious myth, and so floodlit by divisive order is a story about searching, about darkness, and about moral qualms—is, in other words, a noir. — Jewish Book Council, on East Jerusalem Noir and West Jerusalem Noir
Editor Burbara presents thirteen wrenching tales of life in a city 'established 7,000 years ago' that 'has been attacked fifty-two times, occupied forty-four times, besieged twenty-three times, and destroyed twice' . . . The burden of grief carried by those who live in East Jerusalem is poignant and palpable. Such a sharp focus on the misery of the occupation creates a certain constriction in the range of storylines. But Burbara's contributors are clearly willing to sacrifice the chance to showcase the color and variety of the ancient city in order to tell a harrowing tale of its current distress. Heartfelt and heart-wrenching. — Kirkus Reviews
The East Jerusalem stories, edited by Burbara, are tales of everyday oppression, with impersonal government violence thrown in the mix, and the corrosive effects on victims' psyches . . . VERDICT Rather than collections of crime noir, these are deep dives into the anguished psyche of a grievously divided city. — Library Journal
East Jerusalem’s thorny politics run through each of the 13 stories comprising this sturdy entry in Akashic’s long-running regional noir series, which is being published simultaneously with West Jerusalem Noir . . . Written with passion and empathy, the volume’s strength lies in giving voice to the varied experiences of Palestinians who live, work, and write in one of the world’s most complicated cities. It’s a fascinating glimpse of life under occupation.
— Publishers Weekly
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