The Book of Ramallah

Edited by Maya Abu Al-Hayat

WINNER of an English PEN Translates Award 2020

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A man returns home one day to find a woman in his house, claiming it belongs to her not him...

A street cleaner becomes obsessed with discovering who has been leaving seed out for the pigeons in a particular spot every morning...

A corpse washer in a hospital morgue realises one of the bodies she has been treating is the result of an honour killing, a fate that may now be awaiting her colleague...

As the stories in this anthology demonstrate, Ramallah is a city of countless contradictions; defiant in its resistance against the occupying forces, but frustrated and divided by its own secrets and conservatism. Characters fall in love, have affairs, poke fun at the heavy military presence, but also see their aspirations cut short, their lives eaten into, their morale beaten down by the daily humiliations of the conflict. Through humour, and precious moments of intimacy, however, we glimpse life inside this city of refuge; an image of hope abiding even under the eye of a merciless occupation.

Translated by Basma Ghalayini, Alexander Hong, Thoraya El-Rayyes, Mohammed Ghalaieny, Raph Cormack, Adam Talib, Yasmine Seale, Andrew Leber, Emre Bennett & Raph Cohen.


As featured in Cosmopolitan's '69 new books by Black and POC authors'

Read an exclusive guest blog written by the editor for The Comma Press Blog.

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Book Details

18 Feb 2021