The Insignificant Detail by Palestinian author Adania Shibli

An Insignificant Detail by Adania Shibli, translated by Eleni Kapetanaki, has just been published by Plethos Publications.

Adania Shibli was born in Palestine in 1974. He writes literature and essays and is academically affiliated with Birzeit University in the West Bank. Her novel An Insignificant Detail has been shortlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature and longlisted for the 2021 Booker International Prize.

Inspired by a true story, the 1949 gang-rape and execution of a young Palestinian Bedouin by the Israeli army, it brings us to an era of separations, borders and constant exclusion. A young girl is murdered and the other walks between real and imagined walls to discover her own truth, posthumously vindicated.

Shibli was due to receive the “LiBeraturpreis” literary award for the book at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2023, but the organizers canceled the award, which caused international uproar and condemnation of the institution due to the recent Israel-Hamas war. by some high-profile writers and actors who spoke of censorship and unacceptable political persecution.

From the back cover of the book:

In the summer of 1949, a year after a war that Palestinians mourn as the Nakba – a disaster that displaced 700,000 Palestinians – and which Israelis celebrate as the War of Independence.

Israeli soldiers capture, rape and execute a young Palestinian woman in the Negev desert, burying her body in the sand. Years later, the woman becomes obsessed with this insignificant detail and obsessively searches for the truth of this fact.

A haunting record of violence and terror, loss and life that flows between material and immaterial boundaries.

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