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When War Haunts Voices of Palestine: Writers in the Crossfire

by | Oct 26, 2023 | News

Israeli’s bombardment of Gaza has claimed the life of the Palestinian novelist and poet Hiba Abu Nada, it has been reported.  She was killed in her home south of Gaza City.  Nada, 32, was the author of Oxygen’s Not for the Dead (Dar Diwan) and won second prize in the Sharjah Award for Arabic Creativity in 2016.  A final tweet from the author shortly before her death, written in Arabic and quoted in the Bookseller, has been translated as: ‘Gaza’s night is dark apart from the glow of rockets, quite apart from the sound of the bombs, terrifying apart from the comfort of prayer, black apart from the light of the martyrs. Good night, Gaza.’

In the UK, Ra Page, CEO and founder of Manchester’s Comma Press, said the publisher “continues to receive distressing accounts from its authors and others in the writing community in the Gaza Strip”.  These include the deaths of multiple family members of the Palestinian writer Atef Abu Saif, editor of Comma’s The Book of Gaza, in an airstrike in Gaza City.  Comma said Saif “was personally involved in the two-day search for survivors in the debris in the Tal al-Hawa region of the city, and described the ordeal, via voice memos, of digging through the rubble with his bare hands and calling out the names of those missing”.

page also says that the Palestinian Talal Abu Shawish, author of ‘Red Lights’ in Comma’s The Book of Gaza, is reporting the death of his daughter-in-law and her entire family in an Israeli airstrike further south, in Nusayrat Camp. 

As the air strikes continued, Comma said it had “yet to receive any news from a number of other authors, translators and close friends of the press”.

 

 

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