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A Map of Absence

A Map of Absence

An Anthology of Palestinian Writing on the Nakba

Edited by

9780863569906 May 2019 Paperback 320pp

About the Book

A Map of Absence presents the finest poetry and prose by Palestinian writers over the last seventy years. Featuring writers in the diaspora and those living under occupation, these striking entries pay testament to one of the most pivotal events in modern history – the 1948 Nakba.

This unique, landmark anthology includes translated excerpts of works by major authors such as Mahmoud Darwish, Ghassan Kanafani and Fadwa Tuqan alongside those of emerging writers, published here in English for the first time. Depicting the varied aspects of Palestinian life both before and after 1948, their writings highlight the ongoing resonances of the Nakba.

An intimate companion for all lovers of world literature, A Map of Absence reveals the depth and breadth of Palestinian writing.

About the Contributors

Atef Alshaer is a lecturer in Arabic Studies at the University of Westminster. He was educated at Birzeit University in Palestine and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he obtained his PhD and taught for a number of years. His other publications include Poetry and Politics in the Modern Arab World and Love and Poetry in the Middle East (forthcoming).


‘This collection sings of more than just suffering – remembrance and beauty, too.’
Fatima Bhutto

‘In this crucial anthology, Palestine’s greatest classic and contemporary writers use the poetry and rigour of their words to delineate both the trauma of the past and the continuities of exile, oppression and resistance.’
Molly Crabapple

‘An essential collection of vital voices ... Palestinian literature and thought are defiantly alive and pushing boundaries in fiction, poetry, memoir and reportage.’

‘This anthology brilliantly brings together seminal writings on the Nakba. It will be of interest to students of literature as well as those wishing to learn about Palestine for a long time to come.’
Yasir Suleiman, University of Cambridge and the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies

‘A Map of Absence is a remarkable collection of some of the finest examples of [Palestinian] literature ... It is the details hidden in each piece of writing - occasionally hopeful, often heartbreaking - that lend this collection its personality.’
The National