Ibtisam Azem presents her novel, The Book of Disappearance, in conversation with Ella Shohat and Sinan Antoon. Set in contemporary Jaffa/Tel Aviv forty eight hours after Israelis discover all their Palestinian neighbors have vanished, Azem’s powerfully imaginative novel unfolds through alternating narrators: Alaa, a young Palestinian man who converses with his dead grandmother in the journal he left behind when he disappeared, and his Jewish neighbor, Ariel, a journalist struggling to understand the traumatic event. The Book of Disappearance, translated from the Arabic by Sinan Antoon, grapples with both the memory of loss and the loss of memory for the Palestinians.
Praise for The Book of Disappearance:
"In this immensely readable novel, Azem does not resolve for us the calamity of Palestine's occupation by Israel. But stylishly and with jeweled virtuosity she makes us understand that acts of great and humane imagination will be required, and with this potent book points where and how we must all go." (Richard Ford)
"A devastating exploration of the nakba, betrayal, erasure, and love of home. . . Anglophone readers can now experience this thrilling, essential work.” (Molly Crabapple)
The book of Disappearance is “a poignant, mysterious, lyrical, new novel.” (Ahdaf Soueif)