Authors Write on Palestine in “This is Not a Border”

“This is Not a Border”: UK and US covers respectively. (Bloomsbury Group)

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The Palestine Festival of Literature started in 2008 to document and showcase Palestinian life, as well as break the Israeli occupation’s cultural siege against Palestine. A travelling festival in a state where travel is restricted by walls 25 feet high and an endless barrage of IDF-controlled checkpoints, PalFest has nonetheless hosted over 200 authors and industry professionals who have been deeply affected by the ongoing occupation and daily life of the Palestinian people.

Now the festival is putting-out This is Not a Border: Reportage & Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature, a collection of essays, poems, penned by some of the most acclaimed writers of their generation. The book was edited by Ahdaf Soueif (author of The Map of Love and In the Eye of the Sun) and Omar Robert Hamilton (the filmmaker who helmed Though I Know the River is Dry).

The list of participants is exciting for any fellow book worms out there (hi y’all), and includes: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker (The Colour Purple); China Mieville (author of The City and the City and Perdido Street Station); Teju Cole (author of Open City); Susan Abulhawa (The Blue Between Sky and Water); Monty Python member Michael Palin; and numerous other acclaimed thinkers, writers, and artists, such as Geoff Dyer, Claire Messud, Henning Mankell, Kamila Shamsie, Deborah Moggach, Mohammed Hanif, Gillian Slovo, Adam Foulds, Ahdaf Soueif, Jeremy Harding, Brigid Keenan, Rachel Holmes, Suad Amiry, Gary Younge, Jamal Mahjoub, Molly Crabapple, Najwan Darwish, Nathalie Handal, Omar Robert Hamilton, Pankaj Mishra, Raja Shehadeh, Selma Dabbagh, William Sutcliffe, Atef Abu Saif, Yasmin El-Rifae, Sabrina Mahfouz, Alaa Abd El Fattah, Mercedes Kemp, and Ru Freeman.

Special messages are included, penned by Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient), Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee (The Life and Times of Michael K.), and the late Chinua Achebe (author of Things Fall Apart).

The book will release in July in the US and tomorrow in the UK. UK purchasers buying from Bloomsbury are encouraged to use “palfest” to receive a 30% discount.