The Parisian

2019 winner
The Parisan
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Published Date: April 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1911214427

As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself. Midhat Kamal navigates his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong.

Isabella Hammad delicately untangles the politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era - the Palestinian struggle for independence, the strife of the early twentieth century and the looming shadow of the Second World War. An intensely human story amidst a global conflict, The Parisian is historical fiction with a remarkable contemporary voice.

Winner of the Creative Award at Palestine Book Awards 2019.

Review(s):

Reviewed by: Rebecca Stead

“Baris.” He sighed. “It is where my life is.”  So Faruq Al-Azmeh, the “one other Arab on board the ship to Marseille”, told an impressionable Midhat Kamal as he embarked on his journey in 1914. En route from Nablus, Palestine, to study medicine at the University of Montpellier – a popular endeavour for sons of an Ottoman...

Author(s):

Past Winners

  • The Parisan
  • Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine
  • Stone Men: The Palestinians who built Israel
  • Nabil Anani: Palestine, Land and People
  • Where the Bird Disappeared
  • In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood
  • Balfour in the Dock: J.M.N. Jeffries & the Case for the Prosecution
  • Brothers Apart: Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Arab world
  • The Great War and the Remaking of Palestine
  • On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and other displacements
  • Gaza under Hamas: From Islamic Democracy to Islamist Governance
  • The Commander: Fawzi Al-Qawuqji and the fight for Arab Independence 1914-1948
  • Drawing the Kafr Qasem Massacre
  • The Biggest Prison on Earth: A History of the Occupied Territories
  • Palestinians in Syria: Nakba Memories of Shattered Communities
  • I Remember My Name
  • Being Palestinian: Personal Reflections on Palestinian Identity in the Diaspora
  • Imperial Perceptions: British influence and power in late Ottoman times
  • Gaza: A History
  • Jerusalem Interrupted: Modernity and Colonial Transformation