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The Ivy welcomes Marcello di Cintio and Susan Muaddi Darraj to discuss di Cintio’s book, Pay no Heed to the Rockets: Life in Contemporary Palestine.
Marcello Di Cintio first visited Palestine in 1999, and as with most outsiders, the narrative he knew was one defined by unending struggle, a near-Sisyphean curse of stories of oppression, exile, and occupation.
In Pay No Heed to the Rockets, he reveals a more complex story—the Palestinian experience as seen through the lens of authors, books, and literature. Using the form of a political-literary travelogue, he explores what literature means to modern Palestinians and how Palestinians make sense of the conflict between a rich imaginative life and the daily tedium and violence of survival. Taking the long route through the West Bank, into Jerusalem, across Israel, and finally into Gaza, he meets with poets, authors, librarians, and booksellers to learn about Palestine through their eyes, and through the story of their stories.
Di Cintio travels through the rich cultural and literary heritage of Palestine. It’s there that he uncovers a humanity, and a beauty, often unnoticed by news media. At the seventieth anniversary of the Arab-Israeli War, Pay No Heed to the Rockets tells a fresh story about Palestine, one that begins with art rather than war.
Marcello di Cinto is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, winner of the 2013 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. Di Cintio’s essays have been published in The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveller, and Afar. He lives in Calgary.
Susan Muaddi Darraj won the American Book Award for her short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home (2015), which depicts the lives of Palestinians over the course of nearly a century. A Curious Land also received the Arab American Book Award and the Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction. Her first book, The Inheritance of Exile, was published in 2007. A former literary magazine editor, Darraj currently serves as a board member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and a committee member of the One Maryland One Book program. She is an Associate Professor of English at Harford Community College, and she teaches in the graduate writing programs at Johns Hopkins University and Fairfield University.
TIME & DATE
Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 7:00pm