"Self-Portrait as Ruth" is a provocative collection exploring the subject of Israel-Palestine in sharp, accessible poems that eschew the conventional language or orientation of either Zionist or Palestinian solidarity. Rooted in a Jewish family history that reaches into nineteenth-century Ottoman Palestine, "Self-Portrait as Ruth" is written in defiance of all 'official' versions of Israeli or Palestinian history. Polemical in places, the densely, painfully political subject matter is humanised throughout by a weaving together of individual and community, family and tribe, lover and self, nation and landscape. These poems are interrogations of the first person possessive - of claims, both singular and plural, to land, to identity, to history, and to the body - and of wounds and victimisation, both unique and collective. A challenging, aching, honest exploration of culpability, this lament will incite controversy and debate, making uncomfortable reading for partisans and non-partisans alike.
About Jasmine Donahaye
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Published November 1, 2009
by Salt Publishing.
Literature & Fiction.