Return: A Palestinian Memoir - Ghada Karmi

Return: A Palestinian Memoir - Ghada Karmi

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“The journey filled me with bitterness and grief. I remember looking down on a nighttime Tel Aviv from the windows of a place taking me back to London and thinking hopelessly, ‘flotsam and jetsam, that’s what we’ve become, scattered and divided. There’s no room for us or our memories here. And it won’t be reversed.’”

Having grown up in Britain following her family's exile from Palestine, doctor, author and academic Ghada Karmi leaves her adoptive home in a quest to return to her homeland. She starts work with the Palestinian Authority and gets a firsthand understanding of its bizarre bureaucracy under Israel’s occupation.

In her quest, she takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of one of the world’s most intractable conflict zones and one of the major issues of our time. Visiting places she has not seen since childhood, her unique insights reveal a militarised and barely recognisable homeland, and her home in Jerusalem, like much of the West Bank, occupied by strangers. Her encounters with politicians, fellow Palestinians, and Israeli soldiers cause her to question what role exiles like her have in the future of their country and whether return is truly possible.


A hauntingly written, remorselessly honest, and surely long lasting account of Palestinian loss and struggle.

  •  Donald MacIntyre Independent
    This moving memoir takes us to the heart of a conflict that must be resolved if we are to have a peaceful and viable world; Karmi gives us a valuable insight into the impasse in which the Palestinian people find themselves and enables us to experience the anomaly of their situation.
    -Karen Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood
    Eloquent and moving.David Shulman New York Review of Books
  • Hardback / 336 pages / Verso / May 2015 / ISBN 9781781688427