Pay No Heed to the Rockets

Pay No Heed to the Rockets : Palestine in the Present Tense

4.38 (55 ratings by Goodreads)
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Across Palestine, from the Allenby Bridge and Ramallah, to Jerusalem and Gaza, Marcello Di Cintio has met with writers, poets, librarians, booksellers and readers, finding extraordinary stories in every corner. Stories of how revolutionary writing is smuggled from the Naqab Prison, and about what it is like to write with only two hours of electricity each day. Stories from the Gallery Cafe, whose opening three thousand creative intellectuals gathered to celebrate; and the lost generations of stories contained within the looted books that sit in Israel's National Library.

Pay No Heed to the Rockets offers a window into the literary heritage of Palestine that transcends the narrow language of conflict, revealing a humanity often unreported. Paying homage to the memory of literary giants like Mahmoud Darwish and Ghassan Kanafani and the contemporary authors whom they continue to inspire, this evocative, lyrical journey shares both the anguish and inspiration of Palestine today.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 129 x 224 x 22mm | 215g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0863569803
  • 9780863569807
  • 762,223

Review quote

'A masterful work. Di Cintio weaves together history with a sense of place, character and dialogue infused with humour, to produce a contemporary portrait of a people who continue to resist both occupation and simple categorisation.' Selma Dabbagh; 'Di Cintio's lucid account of present-day Palestine is the inspired portrait of a nation in dialogue with its ghosts past and future affirming its right to be. This is a necessary book for our bewildered times.' Alberto Manguel; 'A powerful journey through Palestine's contemporary culture, where silenced authors defend themselves, female writers speak loudly and stolen private libraries are restored.' Atef Abu Saif; 'One of the best travel writers of his generation ... Marcello Di Cintio tells compelling and engrossing stories with his customary mix of vivid detail, a strong sense of history, a lovely sense of humour and, above all, a fascination with the human race in all its contradictions.' Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World; 'What [Di Cintio] does do, bravely and forcefully, and with impressive commitment, is to bear witness to the suffering of people.' The Guardian; '[Di Cintio] writes well, unpicking some of the world's trouble spots in spare and lucid prose.' Literary Review; `Di Cintio writes with clarity and grace, [and] portrays the writers with modesty and empathy ... Even for a reader familiar with Palestinian literature, Pay No Heed to the Rockets uncovers stories from the past with emotional vivacity and brings to life the lengths to which prisoners went in order to educate themselves and others, and to write ... Di Cintio weaves together history with a sense of place and infuses character with dialogue and humour to produce a contemporary portrait of a people who continue to resist both occupation and simple categorisation in this masterful work.' Electronic Intifada; 'With humility, respect, and great sensitivity, [Di Cintio] seeks out writers, people skilled at telling stories, and asks them to narrate their own situations. The result is a document that captures not only the manifold sorrows and injustices of Palestinian life but something of its beauty, its joys, and its yearning.' Ben Ehrenreich, author of The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine; `A compelling read ... forces awareness in the reader of a Palestine beyond our limited imagination.' Middle East Monitor; `Interweaving history and politics, the book introduces Western readers to the modern Palestinian literary scene while celebrating the rich diversity of voices that comprise it. Illuminating reading from a highly engaged author.' Kirkus Reviews; `Traveling through the West Bank, into Jerusalem, across Israel, and into Gaza, Di Cintio reveals life in contemporary Palestinian territories through the lens of its authors, books, and literature. He meets writer Maya Abu-Alhayyat at Cafe Ramallah, smoking a nargileh under a poster of Elvis. He finds the cultural hub of Gaza at the Gallery Cafe, where he chats with theater impresario Jamal Abu al-Qumsan. Throughout he finds "no life conflict" but also "no life wholly defined" by it either.' National Geographic
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About Marcello Di Cintio

Marcello Di Cintio is an award-winning Canadian writer who has lived in West Africa, North Africa, India and the Middle East. He is the author of three books including Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, which won the 2013 Shaugnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the City of Calgary WO Mitchell Book Prize adn the Wilfred Eggleston Prize for Non-Fiction.
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Rating details

55 ratings
4.38 out of 5 stars
5 53% (29)
4 36% (20)
3 7% (4)
2 4% (2)
1 0% (0)
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