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Minor Detail

Adania Shibli



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Text Publishing Company
19 May 2020
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Short stories
I could no longer accept the marginalised, minor life to which we had been exiled since 1948, when our existence turned into a 'problem''. Adania Shibli, from her essay 'Out of Time'.

Minor Detail revolves around a brutal crime committed one year after the War of 1948, which Palestinians mourn as the Nakba, the catastrophe that led to the displacement, exile, and refugeedom of some 700,000 people, and which Israelis celebrate as the War of Independence.

In the Naqab/Negev desert, Israeli soldiers capture and gang-rape a Palestinian girl in her teens. They kill her and bury her in the sand. Many years later, in the near-present day, a young woman in Ramallah reads about this 'minor detail' in a larger context, and becomes fascinated by it to the point of obsession. She embarks on a journey of discovery into the events surrounding that rape and murder-not only because of its gruesome nature but also because it happened to take place twenty-five years to the day before she was born.

Shibli's compelling, intelligent prose is a form of resistance in itself.
By:   Adania Shibli
Imprint:   Text Publishing Company
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 14mm
Weight:   222g
ISBN:   9781922268693
ISBN 10:   1922268690
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   19 May 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Adania Shibli was born in Palestine in 1974, holds a PhD from the University of East London, and has published three novels in Arabic. She teaches at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University in Palestine and divides her time between Jerusalem and Berlin. Elisabeth Jaquette is a translator from the Arabic and Executive Director of the American Literary Translators Association.

Reviews for Minor Detail

'An extraordinary work of art, Minor Detail is continuously surprising and absorbing: a very rare blend of moral intelligence, political passion and formal virtuosity.' * Pankaj Mishra * 'Adania Shibli's exceptional novel Minor Detail belongs to the genre of the novel as resistance, as revolutionary text. Simultaneously depicting the dehumanisation that surrounds rape and land-grab, it is a text that palpitates with fear and with outrage. As we join the nameless young woman in her quest to find the truth of a long-forgotten atrocity, we realize how dangerous it is to reclaim life and history in the face of ongoing, systematic erasure. The narrative tempo, that eventually reaches a crescendo, astutely captures how alienation and heightened anxiety are elemental states of living under Israeli occupation. This is the political novel we have all been waiting for.' * Meena Kandasamy * 'Adania's writing emerges urgently without ever neglecting the poetry in the mundane. That's Adania Shibli: subtle yet alarming, quiet and effective; profound, playful, and potent.' * Lit Hub * 'The most talked-about author on the West Bank.' * Ahdaf Soueif, author of Mezzaterra * 'Adania Shibli takes a gamble in entrusting our access to the key event in her novel - the rape and murder of a young Bedouin woman - to two profoundly self-absorbed narrators - an Israeli psychopath and a Palestinian amateur sleuth high on the autism scale - but her method of indirection justifies itself fully as the book reaches its heart-stopping conclusion.' * J. M. Coetzee *

  • Long-listed for Translated Literature, National Book Awards 2020 (United States)
  • Short-listed for Translated Literature, National Book Awards 2020 (United States)

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