The Lady from Tel Aviv

The Lady from Tel Aviv

Translated by Elliott Colla

9781846590917 July 2013 Paperback 288pp

About the Book

Wail Dahman is going home. Returning to Gaza after nearly four decades in exile, he looks forward to embracing his mother and reconnecting with the people and place he once left behind.

Boarding the flight from London, Wald’s life intersects with that of Dana, an Israeli actress, on her way back to Tel Aviv. As the night sky hurtles past, what each confides and conceals will expose the chasm between them in the land they both call home.

The Lady from Tel Aviv is a powerful and poetic story of love, loss and belonging.

About the Author

Born in al-Majdal, Palestine, in 1945, Raba'i al-Madhoun now lives and works in London as a writer and an editor at the leading Arabic daily, Asharq Al-Awsat. The Lady from Tel Aviv (Telegram) was shortlisted for the 2010 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and won the English PEN Writers in Translation award in the same year. His other works include The Idiot of Khan Younis, The Taste of Separation and Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba, for which he won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2016.

About the Translator

Elliott Colla is a prominent translator of modern Arabic fiction, including novels by Ibrahim al-Koni, Ibrahim Aslan and Idris Ali. He currently teaches Arabic literature at Georgetown University, Washington, DC.


'Takes you to the height of reading pleasure'
Elias Khoury

'Al-Madhoun brings Gaza vividly to life'
Salma Dabbagh

'The Lady from Tel Aviv lays bare the harsh realities of dispossession, exile and occupation … What is on offer is a serious but quirky slice-of-life conveyed by Madhoun’s inventive imagery, wry humour and prose that lurches from the poetic to parody … Poignant.'
Jordan Times

'Al-Madhoun captivates the reader with a mystifying exploration of identity and belonging ... The translator masterfully captures the raw emotion and craft of the original Arabic version.'
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

'An elegantly-written, intriguing, moving book ... It is a surprisingly easy and enjoyable read, given the subject matter, but is also a valuable addition to the literature tackling themes such as Palestinian exile, occupation and homecoming.'
Electronic Intifada