Hala Alyan: Salt Houses

The latest addition to my website is Hala Alyan‘s Salt Houses. This novel tells the story of an extended Palestinian family, from when they are driven out of Nablus (in 1967), having been previously driven out of Jaffa. Some of them go to Kuwait, where they will also be driven out, by Saddam Hussein’s invasion but, on the whole, much of the disruption they face is self-inflicted as they drift around – to Beirut, Paris and the United States. They marry people who are often not Palestinian so end up with children who are unsure of their heritage , though their feelings for Palestine remain, particularly when further developments take place such as the Lebanese War and the intifada. But, in the end they are not really sure who they are and where they belong, even when one of them manages to venture back to Palestine which is, of course by then, Israel.

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