Gaza Writes Back Review: Victoria Brittain

AUTHOR, SHADOW LIVES: THE FORGOTTEN WOMEN OF THE WAR ON TERROR:

AUTHOR, SHADOW LIVES: THE FORGOTTEN WOMEN OF THE WAR ON TERROR

These are stories that will give you for the first time the vivid texture of life and death as young Gazans felt them through Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-9. These are intimate tales of devastation—sharp as a knife and unforgettable. Families, playmates, or the writers themselves, are maimed or killed in a flash by Israeli firepower, but this new generation is writing as a form of resistance. Here are poignant echoes of the stories of Ghassan Kanafani. (He was assassinated in Beirut in 1972, but his stories have never died.) Forty years on these new stories of children’s dreams and deaths are being written by nearly two dozen Kanafanis. The book’s skillful editor sets the context with a brilliant opening quotation from the great Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe: “Storytellers are a threat….they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit.”

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