Sunday, January 14

(virtual)

Books Abroad January Meeting

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Our next meeting of “Books Abroad” will take place on Sunday, January 14, at 4pm CET Thanks to all of you who participated in voting and helped us choose our next book to read. The winner is:  Enter Ghost by Isabella Hammad.

Enter Ghost by Isabella Hammad is a complex brilliant novel with layers of storytelling and layered points of entry into the text.

In Books Abroad we’re interested in feminism and feminist readings. While Enter Ghost has – obviously – something to do with Hamlet and thus Shakespeare, it is written by a woman, a very enlightened and contemporary one, whose main characters are women: Miriam, a Palestinian theatre director living in Haifa, and two sisters, Sonia and Haneen.  The three women, their interaction and their separate roles speak to their situation: two sisters, one living in the West Bank in Haifa, close to their Palestinian homeland, the other an actor living and working, rather unsatisfyingly, in London.  Sonia has come to Palestine to visit her homeland and her sister.

Where is Sonia’s identity? Where does she belong? Has her sister found an answer to those questions as she has made her home there in Haifa? The theatre director is doing Hamlet in English. But it had been first translated into Arabic and then retranslated back into English. The most important layer is the politics, the difficulty of doing such a play in Palestine with the fear and threat of Israel behind every line and move.

In an interview, Hammad said that Toni Morrison’s Beloved had formed her, had “made her mind, in a way.” … “Both works incorporate ‘the spectre of motherhood’, broken down in Enter Ghost into its constituent parts and corresponding lines of enquiry (“How might mothering be construed differently?” Hammad asks. “What might the role of the woman be in a collective resistance effort? How might it be made anew?”), and both books capture the struggle for power against forces of oppression.” 

Hammad: I think if you grew up in just one culture – with one language, one heritage – you don't necessarily notice the edges of it,” Hammad says, alluding to her mixed background and the understanding it gave her of “the constructiveness of identity and language.”  Click here to read the full interview.

She was announced as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, a now-storied list compiled every ten years to showcase the next generation of British literary talents


Our team covers subjects relevant to women's lives and encourages timely conversations related to our existence as compassionate, informed citizens.

If you have suggestions for a book to read in the future, please let us know by emailing your Books Abroad Team Leaders, Connie Borde & Sheila Malovany-Chevallier, at [email protected].

WHEN

Sunday, January 14, 2024 at 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) Time

WHERE


This is a virtual event. See the event description above or RSVP for virtual participation options.

CONTACT

Books Abroad Team

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