The Stone House

Yara Hawari


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Hajar Press
9 December 2021
ISBN: 9781914221040
96 pages

From the publisher

A vivid, haunting tale of intergenerational trauma and survival under Israeli occupation.

New Arab Book of the Year 2021.

The year is 1968. The recent Arab defeat in the Naksa has led to the loss of all of historic Palestine. In the midst of violent political upheaval, Mahmoud, a young Palestinian boy living in the Galilee, embarks on a school trip to visit the West Bank for the first time.

For Mahmoud, his mother and his grandmother, the journey sets off a flood of memories, tracing moments that bond three generations together. How do these personal experiences become collective history? Why do some feel guilty for surviving war? Is it strange to long for a time never lived?

In this groundbreaking novella, Yara Hawari harnesses the enduring power of memory in defiance of the constrictions on Palestinian life. Against a system bent on the erasure of their people, the family’s perseverance is unbroken in the decades-long struggle for their stone house.

‘Hawari’s distinctive, laconic prose … paints a dystopian horror of settler-colonialism and the lengths families go to survive.’ — The New Arab

‘Explicitly citing lived experience and collective past as examples of credible material evidence ... this book asserts that the Nakba is best told by those with the bruises, not those with the batons.’ — Mohammed El-Kurd, author of Rifqa

‘A rigorous, feminist engagement with the history of the Palestinian tragedy ... Hawari explores the multifarious experiences of exile, displacement, survival, and return.’ — Isabella Hammad, author of The Parisian

‘A powerful story told with great care for humans’ capacity to remember and resist ... Hawari presents us with an evocative tale.’ — Ilan Pappé, author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine