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The Parisian

Narrated by: Fiona Button
Length: 20 hrs and 18 mins
4 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A masterful debut novel by Plimpton Prize winner Isabella Hammad, The Parisian illuminates a pivotal period of Palestinian history through the journey and romances of one young man, from his studies in France during World War I to his return to Palestine at the dawn of its battle for independence. 

Midhat Kamal is the son of a wealthy textile merchant from Nablus, a town in Ottoman Palestine. A dreamer, a romantic, an aesthete, in 1914 he leaves to study medicine in France, and falls in love. When Midhat returns to Nablus to find it under British rule, and the entire region erupting with nationalist fervor, he must find a way to cope with his conflicting loyalties and the expectations of his community. 

The story of Midhat's life develops alongside the idea of a nation, as he and those close to him confront what it means to strive for independence in a world that seems on the verge of falling apart. Against a landscape of political change that continues to define the Middle East, The Parisian explores questions of power and identity, enduring love, and the uncanny ability of the past to disrupt the present. 

Lush and immersive, and devastating in its power, The Parisian is an elegant, richly imagined debut from a dazzling new voice in fiction.

©2019 Isabella Hammad (P)2019 Recorded Books

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Overly ambitious

Historical fiction based on the author’s great grandfather. I was especially interested in the historical background, but it was force fed, and was not an organic part of the story. In addition, the audiobook narrator would have benefited from listening to some Arabic natives before attempting the basic words.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Phenomenal story!

Absolutely loved the writing style of this young author. Highlights the need for all of us to see the gray areas of personal and political conflicts (things are very nuanced.) I appreciated how the character is perceived as "other"not just in Europe but in his homeland upon his return and how the author strikes just the right balance so that his situation doesn't become a strident caricature. Can't wait to see what this author will write next. (**Too bad the publisher misspelled her last name on the audiobook artwork!!! HAMMAD, not Hammand)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent historical novel

This is a view of the Middle East I was only vaguely aware of. I had read the history, but sometimes it takes a work of fiction to flesh out the facts, to give one a sense of what it just might have been like to be alive at that time. Beautifully written and read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful