APAN book reviews

APAN is grateful to volunteers who have provided these book reviews.  The reviews reflect the perspectives of the reviewer.

A Life of Edward Said

A key contributor to the Palestinian cause and, more broadly, to the field of post-colonial studies, Said’s legacy, like much in his life, remains contested. To his credit, the author of this biography does not shy away from sampling these controversies. Almost from the beginning, the reader finds achievement and contradiction cart-wheeling across this 437 […]

Against the Loveless World

Cover of book "Against the Loveless World"

With ‘Against the Loveless World’, Susan Abulhawa has produced another powerful story of Palestinian resistance, a passionate, political tale. Not simply a novel, this book is part thriller, part history lesson, part love story, and part radical-feminist manifesto. Nahr, the storyteller, is a woman of immense strength. We are immersed in her early life in […]

Dateline Jerusalem: Journalism’s Toughest Assignment

Veteran journalist John Lyon’s has just released an explosive 88 page book exposing the extent to which the Australian media is influenced by the pro-Israel lobby. The book cites concrete examples of this influence drawn from interviews with journalists, editors, Palestinian Australians and from his own 40 years of journalism, including his 6 years serving […]

Falastin: A Cookbook

Copy of book cover: Falastin- A cookbook

It’s rare for a book about anything to do with Palestine to make it onto Australia’s bestseller lists, but here’s one that has. It’s not a novel, it’s not a political tome, but it has some stories of life in Palestine…and it’s full of recipes! Falastin, by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley, is a celebration […]

Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

The astronomical quantity and quality of research woven throughout Masalha’s a Four Thousand Year History creates an irrefutable counter-narrative to the myths often proclaimed by proponents of Zionism as fact. Additionally, this decolonial self-representational account shines a light on the ways in which Israel has deliberately and systematically attempted to destroy Palestinian history. Masalha is […]

Still lives: A memoir of Gaza

As a leader of an NGO program, and later as a senior United Nations irregular, Marilyn Garson worked in Gaza for almost four years. This period included working through two Israeli assaults, the second the infamous attack in July-August 2014. This dense and historic background presents many choices to a prospective author. Garson says what […]

The beauty of your face

Cover of book: The beauty of your face. Orange cover with a pink and fragmented sillouite

Sahar Mustafah’s debut novel traces the harrowing difficulties of an immigrant Palestinian family living near Chicago. The author, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, has previously written an award-winning collection of short stories dealing with similar transplanted lives. It is no spoiler to reveal that within the first short chapter, one is plunged into a school […]

The power broker: Mark Leibler An Australian Jewish life

Mark Leibler is a taxation specialist and Zionist lobbyist. According to Michael Gawenda, ex-Fairfax editor and the author of this biography, Leibler has had tremendous success in both these roles. Not only does this book give the critically informed reader the chance to consider this claim, but a gift is given that the author may […]

Till We Have Built Jerusalem: Architects of a new city

Book cover: Till we have built Jerusalem. Cover depicts historical image of people standing on top of a basic building with thatched dome roof

American writer, Adina Hoffman divides her life between Jerusalem and USA. She spoke recently on ABC RN’s Blueprint for Living about Till we have built Jerusalem. A much-acclaimed earlier book was the first biography of a Palestinian writer ever published. Modern Jerusalem was built, not in Blake’s words, ‘in England’s green and pleasant land’, but […]

Apeirogon

Photo of book cover of Apeirogon, a novel by Colum McCann

Colum McCann, the Irish author of Apeirogon, A novel, was the focus of a Zoom session during the recent Melbourne Jewish Book Week. In conversation with Mark Raphael Baker, he related being told “you think Ireland is complicated? You ought to come to the Middle East!” He has since travelled there many times and uses […]

The Hundred Year’s War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonial Conquest and Resistance

Professor Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University in New York. The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine chronicles the many conflicts that have afflicted Palestine. Starting with the double-cross, inspired by the Zionist movement and implemented by the Western powers, notably Great Britain, in the period during and […]

Walking for Palestine

Picture of book cover 'walking for Palestine. Has title and picture of a man walking along a dirt road with a sign on his back "Walking for Palestinian Recongition"

Walking for Palestine is an account of three long walks the author undertook to publicize the Palestinian cause. Written with clarity and good humour, the reader is made a companion as Mr. Salisbury – a retired 60-or-so year-old man from Melbourne – walks twice from Sydney to Canberra (2014; 2015) and once from Melbourne to […]

Wall of tears: The human face of the Israel-Palestine conflict

Photo of book cover, wall of tears

This novel purports to be even-handed and grounded in fact. In fact, the plot is profoundly partisan. For this reason it is impossible to review Wall of Tears without being a spoiler. I apologize. The following gives away a good part of the book’s story. Wall of tears is an account of the history of […]

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