The Inheritance by Sahar Khalifeh

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In this powerful novel, acclaimed Palestinian author Sahar Khalifeh examines the stark realities in the lives of Palestinian women. Through her protagonist, Zeynab, born to an American mother and a Palestinian father, Khalifeh illuminates the disorienting experience of living between two worlds, and the search for identity that mirrors the Palestinians’ own quest for nationhood. Set against the emotionally charged background of the early 1990s - when the Gulf War and the Oslo Accords fundamentally shifted the political landscape - The Inheritance takes as its subject the fate of young Palestinian women who supported their families for decades working elsewhere in the Middle East. In vivid prose, Khalifeh traces the disruption caused by the Gulf War on the life of these women, as Zeynab returns to her homeland and tries to adapt to her new life on the West Bank after years spent in Kuwait. In her previous novels, Sahar Khalifeh has established herself as the premier female novelist of the Palestinian diaspora; with The Inheritance, she breaks new ground in giving voice to these Palestinian women and their return from economic exile. With its critical portrayal of the Palestinian Authority, its mistakes, and limitations, The Inheritance offers a surprising look at the realities of Palestinian life and society. As the story of an immigrant torn between two cultures and struggling to adapt to both, Zeynab’s tale touches on universal themes that will resonate with readers everywhere.

About Sahar Khalifeh

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Sahar Khalifeh was born in the West Bank city of Nablus in 1941 and is the author of eight novels. A former Fulbright scholar, she holds a B.A. from Bir Zeit University, and a Ph.D. in women's studies and American literature from the University of Iowa. She divides her time between Amman and Nablus. Aida Bamia is professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She is the editor of Al-'Arabiyya, the journal of the American Association of Teachers ofArabic, and the author of The Graying of the Raven: Cultural and Sociopolitical Significance of Algerian Folk Poetry (AUC Press 2001).
Published October 1, 2005 by The American University in Cairo Press. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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This sober, feminist novel from Palestinian author Khalifeh (Wild Thorns) bears witness to a young woman's search for cultural identity in modern day America and the Middle East. Zayna grew up in Broo

Nov 28 2005 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance

Publishers Weekly

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Zayna flees to her maternal American grandmother in Washington, D.C., (Zayna's parents are long divorced).

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