Meet the author: Adania Shibli

Sat 25.03.2023
16:30 - 17:30
Adania Shibli copy Hartwig Klappert


meet the author, interview


weekend pass: €35/32 (€37 supporting united stages) - day pass: €20/17 (€22 supporting united stages)


the preferential rate offers a €3 discount for all who feel like they need it. paspartoe and article 27 accepted.


in english

‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’ Adania Shibli seems to have taken this quote from William Faulkner as her motto. She took a gruesome ‘minor detail’ from the Israeli War of Independence as a starting point for an uncompromising novel in which the past is never past.

In the summer of 1949, a year after the civil war known to Palestinians as the Nakba (Catastrophe) and celebrated by Israelis as the War of Independence, Israeli soldiers massacre an encampment of Bedouin in the Negev region. They take the sole survivor, a young Palestinian woman, back to their camp, where they rape, murder and bury her in the sand.

Years later, a young woman in Ramallah investigates the rape and murder. An obsessive search ensues until she too reaches the limits of comprehension. Shibli spent twelve years working on this novel, which has now appeared in many countries.

So maybe the realization of the repeated injustice that one cannot escape in the context of Palestine was the first force to push me early on into literature.
Adania Shibli

Adania Shibli will be in an all exclusive conversation with Jana Kerremans. The publication today of the Dutch translation by Koppernik follows the earlier triumph of the English translation by Fitzcarraldo.

about the author

Adania Shibli (b. 1974) was born in Palestine. She holds a PhD from the University of East London and has published three novels in Arabic. She lives and works in Berlin and Jerusalem.

about the moderator

Jana Kerremans (1984) is an expert in arts, heritage and socio-cultural work, and a freelance presenter and moderator with a lifelong love of multilingual literature.

Adania Shibli takes a gamble in entrusting our access to the key event in her novel – the rape and murder of a young Bedouin woman – to two profoundly self-absorbed narrators – an Israeli psychopath and a Palestinian amateur sleuth high on the autism scale – but her method of indirection justifies itself fully as the book reaches its heart-stopping conclusion.
J.M. Coetzee

ORG. Passa Porta, Koppernik

picture © hartwig klappert

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