Ghada Karmi

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The Ethnic Health HandbookJerusalem TodayThe Palestinian ExodusIn Search of FatimaMarried to Another Man
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Very few diaspora Palestinians have written memoirs as intimate as Ghada Karmi’s frank account of her life: her childhood in Palestine, the flight to Britain after the catastrophe of 1948, and coming of age in the coffee-bars of Golders Green, the middle-class Jewish quarter in North London. A gentle humour describes the bizarre and sometimes tense realities that mask her life in ‘Little Tel Aviv’ and, later, her struggle, like that of many other women in the late fifties, to get a university grant to study medicine.

The intimacy of the book is set against the continuing crisis in the Middle East. In her case it is not an account of physical hardships and abuse. Her immediate family was lucky. But as she grew older, memories of the lost homeland began to haunt her. Her anger grows at the self-deception of most Israelis, who justify the appalling actions of their governments by pretending that what is taking place isn’t actually happening.

In Search of Fatima reminds us that the only crime the Palestinians committed was to be born in Palestine. Its author, a committed physician, is desperate for the wounds to heal, but grim-visaged History refuses to oblige.

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"Karmi's stunning memoir is remarkable. Extraordinarily well written, it is the amazingly honest story of a Palestinian woman of exceptional self-awareness. Hers is a story of exile and in detail and human experience. Karmi is excellent on the quality of family and even communal life in Mandatory Palestine...she also has a wonderfully subtle way of showing how in thousands of different ways the political and the personal intermesh, and this she does with a skill and insight that could be a novelist's envy.." EDWARD W.SAID

"Ghada Karmi's compelling and beautifully written narrative is more than a personal memoir. It enables the reader to understand and to empathize with the psychological dislocation of exile that continues to fuel the Palestinian cause..." Karen Armstrong

"Ghada Karmi writes simply and poignantly. Hers is a story of...exile and dispossession." Jewish Chronicle

"This is an important memoir, beautifully written by an intelligent, sensitive woman, that fills a void in studies of Zionism." Financial Times