Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
A Novel

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Synopsis

Mornings in Jenin is a multi-generational story about a Palestinian family. Forcibly removed from the olive-farming village of Ein Hod by the newly formed state of Israel in 1948, the Abulhejos are displaced to live in canvas tents in the Jenin refugee camp. We follow the Abulhejo family as they live through a half century of violent history. Amidst the loss and fear, hatred and pain, as their tents are replaced by more forebodingly permanent cinderblock huts, there is always the waiting, waiting to return to a lost home.
The novel's voice is that of Amal, the granddaughter of the old village patriarch, a bright, sensitive girl who makes it out of the camps, only to return years later, to marry and bear a child. Through her eyes, with her evolving vision, we get the story of her brothers, one who is kidnapped to be raised Jewish, one who will end with bombs strapped to his middle. But of the many interwoven stories, stretching backward and forward in time, none is more important than Amal's own. Her story is one of love and loss, of childhood and marriage and parenthood, and finally the need to share her history with her daughter, to preserve the greatest love she has.
Set against one of the twentieth century's most intractable political conflicts, Mornings in Jenin is a deeply human novel - a novel of history, identity, friendship, love, terrorism, surrender, courage, and hope. Its power forces us to take a fresh look at one of the defining conflicts of our lifetimes.
 

About Susan Abulhawa

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Susan Abulhawa was born to refugees of the Six Day War of 1967, and moved to the United States as a teenager. In 2001, she founded Playgrounds for Palestine, Inc., to build playgrounds for children in occupied territories. A biologist, mother, and activist, Susan has contributed essays to the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications. Mornings in Jenin, her first novel, was published in a hardcover edition by Journey Publications in 2006 under the title The Scar of David, but fell out of print. It will now be widely available for the first time, in a fully revised edition. Her Web site is www.scarofdavid.com.
 
Published July 1, 2010 by Bloomsbury USA. 353 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mornings in Jenin

Kirkus Reviews

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After repeated beatings and torture by Israeli soldiers, including David, Yousef joins the PLO resistance fighters.

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The Guardian

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Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop In the 1948 nakba, the "catastrophe" that was the invasion of Pal...

Feb 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Mornings in Jenin: A Novel

Suite 101

This channel is dedicated those individuals who dedicated themselves to the idea that we all deserve to be treated with dignity.

Jan 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Mornings in Jenin: A Novel

Gather Books

Understanding what land means to a landless people is made more bittersweet by this compelling writing, of her beautiful descriptions of the land, the family‘s love for one another, and the stoic endurance that is adopted when one suffers a fatal loss.

Feb 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Mornings in Jenin: A Novel

Historical Novel Society

I suspect it will go down well with reading groups because, however poorly written, it does raise strong debating points, and it certainly sets out the history of Middle Eastern conflict in an easily digestible form.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Amal, the patriarch's bright granddaughter, feels this with certainty when she discovers the joys of young friendship and first love and especially when she loses her adored father, who read to her daily as a young girl in the quiet of the early dawn.

Apr 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Mornings in Jenin: A Novel

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