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A Land Without Borders
Cover of A Land Without Borders
A Land Without Borders
My Journey Around East Jerusalem and the West Bank
by Nir Baram
Borrow Borrow

'Written with great talent, momentum and ingenuity...it expands the borders of literature to reveal new landscapes.' Amos Oz

Award-winning journalist and author Nir Baram spent a year and a half travelling around the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In this fascinating recount of that journey, Baram navigates the conflict-ridden regions and hostile terrain to speak with a wide range of people, among them Palestinian–Israeli citizens trapped behind the separation wall in Jerusalem and Jewish settlers determined to forge new lives on the West Bank.

Baram also talks to children on Kibbutz Nirim who lived through the war in Gaza, and ex-prisoners from Fatah who, after spending years detained in Israeli jails, are now promoting a peace initiative. And he returns again and again to Jerusalem, city of his birth, where a hushed civil war is in full swing.

A Land Without Borders is a clear-eyed, compassionate and essential guide to understanding a complex reality; a perceptive and sensitive exploration of a labyrinthine conflict and the experiences of the people ensnared in it, by one of the most distinctive writers working in Israel today.

Nir Baram was born into a political family in Jerusalem in 1976. His grandfather and father were both ministers in Israeli Labor Party governments. He has worked as a journalist and an editor, and as an advocate for equal rights for Palestinians. He is the author of five novels, including Good People, which was translated into English for the first time in 2016. His novels have been translated into more than ten languages and received critical acclaim around the world. He has been shortlisted several times for the Sapir Prize and in 2010 received the Prime Minister's Award for Hebrew Literature.

'An honest and troubling snapshot of Israel...From horror to fatigue to indifference, an important look forward and back that provides a grass-roots sense that one state needs to satisfy sovereignty for all.' STARRED Review, Kirkus Reviews

'One of the most intriguing writers in Israeli literature today.' Haaretz

'Quite possibly, Dostoyevsky would write like this if he lived in Israel today.' Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Good People

'An engaging, fast-paced odyssey that conveys an intimate understanding of why peace remains so elusive...Nir Baram does what more people in the region should undertake: a grand listening tour that encompasses all sides of the conflict. The author is a good listener, too, albeit one who isn't afraid to ask hard questions.' Christian Science Monitor

'Baram brings an open heart and mind to exploring the difficulties of coexistence where physical and emotional walls do harm on both sides, reaching beyond headline to explore the lives of Palestinians and Jews of different generations.' Booklist

'For all outside of the land who bandy Israel/Palestine talking points about—indeed, for those in it who rarely interact with those on the other side—these raw perspectives are a necessary introduction to the incredibly complex nature of the current divide.' Foreword Reviews [4 stars]

'Nir Baram is an Israeli novelist, a highly respected journalist and an accomplished editor. So it is hardly surprising that his description of his journey around East Jerusalem and the West Bank is eminently readable, although much of what he recounts is worrying enough to give the reader many sleepless nights despite the shafts of optimism that occasionally shine through the text.' Arts Hub

'An essential guide to the human elements of...

'Written with great talent, momentum and ingenuity...it expands the borders of literature to reveal new landscapes.' Amos Oz

Award-winning journalist and author Nir Baram spent a year and a half travelling around the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In this fascinating recount of that journey, Baram navigates the conflict-ridden regions and hostile terrain to speak with a wide range of people, among them Palestinian–Israeli citizens trapped behind the separation wall in Jerusalem and Jewish settlers determined to forge new lives on the West Bank.

Baram also talks to children on Kibbutz Nirim who lived through the war in Gaza, and ex-prisoners from Fatah who, after spending years detained in Israeli jails, are now promoting a peace initiative. And he returns again and again to Jerusalem, city of his birth, where a hushed civil war is in full swing.

A Land Without Borders is a clear-eyed, compassionate and essential guide to understanding a complex reality; a perceptive and sensitive exploration of a labyrinthine conflict and the experiences of the people ensnared in it, by one of the most distinctive writers working in Israel today.

Nir Baram was born into a political family in Jerusalem in 1976. His grandfather and father were both ministers in Israeli Labor Party governments. He has worked as a journalist and an editor, and as an advocate for equal rights for Palestinians. He is the author of five novels, including Good People, which was translated into English for the first time in 2016. His novels have been translated into more than ten languages and received critical acclaim around the world. He has been shortlisted several times for the Sapir Prize and in 2010 received the Prime Minister's Award for Hebrew Literature.

'An honest and troubling snapshot of Israel...From horror to fatigue to indifference, an important look forward and back that provides a grass-roots sense that one state needs to satisfy sovereignty for all.' STARRED Review, Kirkus Reviews

'One of the most intriguing writers in Israeli literature today.' Haaretz

'Quite possibly, Dostoyevsky would write like this if he lived in Israel today.' Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Good People

'An engaging, fast-paced odyssey that conveys an intimate understanding of why peace remains so elusive...Nir Baram does what more people in the region should undertake: a grand listening tour that encompasses all sides of the conflict. The author is a good listener, too, albeit one who isn't afraid to ask hard questions.' Christian Science Monitor

'Baram brings an open heart and mind to exploring the difficulties of coexistence where physical and emotional walls do harm on both sides, reaching beyond headline to explore the lives of Palestinians and Jews of different generations.' Booklist

'For all outside of the land who bandy Israel/Palestine talking points about—indeed, for those in it who rarely interact with those on the other side—these raw perspectives are a necessary introduction to the incredibly complex nature of the current divide.' Foreword Reviews [4 stars]

'Nir Baram is an Israeli novelist, a highly respected journalist and an accomplished editor. So it is hardly surprising that his description of his journey around East Jerusalem and the West Bank is eminently readable, although much of what he recounts is worrying enough to give the reader many sleepless nights despite the shafts of optimism that occasionally shine through the text.' Arts Hub

'An essential guide to the human elements of...

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  • Kirkus

    Starred review from February 15, 2017
    An honest and troubling snapshot of Israel--both Palestinian and Israeli--that reveals the creeping realization that a two-state solution may no longer be possible.A leftist Israeli journalist and novelist, Baram (Good People, 2016, etc.), who grew up in the 1980s, confronted his own long-held biases by spending an extended length of time penetrating the Green Line (the 1949 demarcation of Israel's borders) and visiting the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In a series of hard-hitting chapters, he recounts his journeys--to Palestinian refugee camps, Israeli settlements, kibbutzim, and border crossings like Kalandia--underscoring the enormous fatigue that has settled around the Israeli occupation and the essential desire for the Palestinians to enjoy equal rights and move freely within the country. The sad, stunning truth is that most Palestinians and Israelis have no contact with each other. In one telling moment, Baram, while speaking English with a group of Palestinians on a street in Ramallah, attracted the attention of a boy who stared in disbelief, having never met a Jew before. The author worked his way around the West Bank, asking pointed questions that neither side was comfortable answering--e.g., how will the Israelis deal with the Palestinians' demand for a right to return to the places their forebears were banished from in 1948, even though these same Palestinians have never visited those places or ever called them home? Also, how can the Palestinians believe in peace with the Israelis after "all the killings, the land grabs, the imprisonments, the checkpoints"? To get a better sense of what the future may hold, Baram spoke with prickly settlers ("as far as they are concerned, the battle has already been won"), former prisoners of the Israelis now aiming to fulfill their lives, and tense worshipers (of both faiths) at the Al-Aqsa Temple Mount. From horror to fatigue to indifference, an important look forward and back that provides a grass-roots sense that one state needs to satisfy sovereignty for all.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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A Land Without Borders
A Land Without Borders
My Journey Around East Jerusalem and the West Bank
Nir Baram
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