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Wild Thorns

Wild Thorns

Translated by Trevor LeGassick and Elizabeth Fernea


9780863565373 July 2005 Paperback 208pp

About the Book

A young Palestinian named Usama returns from working in the Gulf to support the resistance movement. His mission is to blow up buses transporting Palestinian workers into Israel.

Shocked to discover that many of his fellow citizens have adjusted to life under military rule, Usama exchanges harsh words with his friends and family. Despite uncertainty, he sets out to accomplish his mission … with disastrous consequences.

Originally published in Jerusalem, Wild Thorns was the first Arab novel to offer a glimpse of social and personal relations under Israeli occupation. Featuring unsentimental portrayals of everyday life, its deep sincerity, uncompromising honesty and rich emotional core plead elegantly for the cause of survival in the face of oppression.

About the Author

Sahar Khalifeh was born in Nablus in 1941. She entered into a traditional arranged marriage at eighteen, and after thirteen years left her husband and began writing. Her first novel was confiscated by Israeli authorities; the second was published in Cairo. She taught at the University of Iowa and at Palestine’s Bir Zeit University, and founded the Women's Affairs Centres in Nablus, Gaza City and Amman. Wild Thorns (Saqi Books) is her third novel.


'An impressive narrative of life in the West Bank in which simple profundities are asserted powerfully and poetically.'
Morning Star

'Sahar Khalifeh paints with an accurate brush the grim effects of occupation.'
Barbara Holdup, Due South Magazine

'We highly recommend this book which has already become famous and much-discussed in Palestinian and Arab circles.'
Jacobin Books

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