Rabai al-Madhoun: كونشرتو الهولوكوست والنكبة (رواية، (Fractured Destinies)

The latest addition to my website is Rabai al-Madhoun‘s كونشرتو الهولوكوست والنكبة (رواية، (Fractured Destinies). In this somewhat complicated novel, we start with the death of an Armenian woman, Ivana, who was born and bred in Palestine. She asks her daughter Julie (English father) and Julie’s Palestinian husband, Walid, who has spent most of his life in the UK, to take her ashes back to Palestine but not Acre where she lived, but to Jerusalem. We follow their travels to Palestine and both are very much taken with it and consider moving there. They also meet Jinin, Walid’s cousin, who is living in Jaffa with her Palestinian US citizen husband Basim who cannot get a work permit. Walid, Jinin and Basim are all writers and we follow in particular the novel of Jinin who is writing a novel about a character called the Remainer as he stayed in Palestine, based on her father, who also stayed. The two stories – the real one and the fictitious one – get intertwined. We jump bacward and forward in time and place and the author himself even puts in an appearance but it is all well done.

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