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Minor Detail

In spare and haunting prose, MINOR DETAIL cuts to the heart of the Palestinian experience of dispossession, life under occupation, and the persistent difficulty of piecing together history in the face of ongoing displacement and disempowerment. Adania Shibli's third novel revolves around a brutal crime committed during the War of 1948, which led to the displacement and exile of some 700,000 Palestinians. Israeli soldiers rape a young Palestinian woman they find in the Negev desert, killing her and burying her in the sand. Many years later, in the near-present day, a young woman in Ramallah embarks on a journey of discovery into the events surrounding that rape and murder, becoming fascinated by it to the point of obsession when she reads about it by chance, not only because of its gruesome nature but also because it happened to take place twenty-five years to the day before she was born. The two sections of the book hover over one another like the maps the unnamed protagonist of the second section takes with her on her journey: limpid, disengaged accounts apparently unburdened by registers of authorial control. The result is a careful balancing of juxtapositions that stylistically enacts the resonances and dissonances of experience. Shibli spent many years honing the text, and MINOR DETAIL is a beautiful meditation on war, violence, memory and injustice.

Agent: Peter Straus
Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
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