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Looking for details amid the roar of occupation

A major crime is a basis of Palestinian author Adania Shibli's new novel

Graffiti on the Bethlehem wall in the Occupied territories Photo: young shanahan/Wikimedia commons

Sitting in her office in Ramallah, as the Israeli Defence Forces raze a neighbouring building to the ground, the unnamed narrator of Palestinian author Adania Shibli’s new novel observes that to see the “minor detail” is to “see the fly shit on a painting and not the painting itself.” The “minor detail” she is referring to is the precise date of the gang-rape and murder of a young Bedouin woman in the Negev (or in Arabic naqab) desert during the 1948 Palestinian exodus, exactly 25 years before her own birth. The major details have already been revealed to the…

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