As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself. Midhat Kamal picks his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong. Isabella Hammad delicately unpicks the tangled politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era – the Palestinian struggle for independence, the strife of the early 20th century and the looming shadow of the Second World War. An intensely human story amidst a global conflict, ‘The Parisian’ is historical fiction with a remarkable contemporary voice.
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‘A sublime reading experience: delicate, restrained, surpassingly intelligent, uncommonly poised and truly beautiful’ Zadie Smith
**WINNER OF THE BETTY TRASK AWARD 2020**
Midhat Kamal – dreamer, romantic, aesthete – leaves Palestine in 1914 to study medicine in France, under the tutelage of Dr Molineu. He falls deeply in love with Jeannette, the doctor’s daughter. But Midhat soon discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong.
Through Midhat’s eyes we see the tangled politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era – the Palestinian struggle for independence, the strife of the early twentieth century, and the looming shadow of the Second World War. Lush and immersive, and devastating in its power, The Parisian is an elegant, richly-imagined debut from a dazzling new voice in fiction.
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2020*
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDWARD STANFORD FICTION AWARD 2019*
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