The Book of Gaza: Book Tour

The Book of Gaza, an anthology of Palestinian short stories, will be published by Comma Press in June 2014. To celebrate its release, editor Atef Abu Seif and some of the book’s contributors will be launching the book at various cities across the UK.

About the book

Edited by Atef Abu Seif

Featuring Atef Abu SeifAbdallah TayehTalal Abu ShawishMona Abu SharekhNajlaa AtaallahGhareeb AsqalaniNayrouz QarmoutYusra al KhatibAsmaa al Ghul and Zaki al ‘Ela

Under the Israeli occupation of the ’70s and ’80s, writers in Gaza had to go to considerable lengths to ever have a chance of seeing their work in print. Manuscripts were written out longhand, invariably under pseudonyms, and smuggled out of the Strip to Jerusalem, Cairo or Beirut, where they then had to be typed up. Consequently, fiction grew shorter, novels became novellas, and short stories flourished as the city’s form of choice. Indeed, to Palestinians elsewhere, Gaza became known as ‘the exporter of oranges and short stories’.

This anthology brings together some of the pioneers of the Gazan short story from that era, as well as younger exponents of the form, with ten stories that offer glimpses of life in the Strip that go beyond the global media headlines; stories of anxiety, oppression, and violence, but also of resilience and hope, of what it means to be a Palestinian, and how that identity is continually being reforged; stories of ordinary characters struggling to live with dignity in what many have called ‘the largest prison in the world’.

Tour dates

Sunday 1 June: The Book of Gaza at Hay Festival

1pm, £5

Festival event 444, Good Energy Stage

Editor Atef Abu Seif, director of Comma Press, Ra Page, and short story contributor Abdallah Tayeh in conversation with Georgina Goodwin.

Tickets and details via the Hay Festival site here

Monday 2 June: The Book of Gaza – London Launch at The Mosaic Rooms

7pm, FREE –

Editor Atef Abu Seif and short story contributor Abdallah Tayeh.

More details via the Mosaic Rooms site here

Friday 6 June: The Book of Gaza – Manchester Launch at International Anthony Burgess Foundation

7pm, FREE

Editor Atef Abu Seif and short story contributor Abdallah Tayeh.

More details via the IABF site here

Wednesday 11 June: The Book of Gaza at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival

6pm, FREE

Editor Atef Abu Seif and short story contributor Abdallah Tayeh at The Bluecoat, Liverpool

More details via The Bluecoat site here

More details about the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival here

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