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A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy

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A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy

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 A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy

by Nathan Thrall

Immersive and gripping, an intimate story of a deadly accident outside Jerusalem that unravels a tangle of lives, loves, enmities, and histories over the course of one revealing, heartbreaking day.

Five-year-old Milad Salama is excited for a school trip to a theme park on the outskirts of Jerusalem. On the way, his bus collides with a semitrailer. His father, Abed, gets word of the crash and rushes to the site. The scene is chaos―the children have been taken to different hospitals in Jerusalem and the West Bank; some are missing, others cannot be identified. Abed sets off on an odyssey to learn Milad’s fate. It is every parent’s worst nightmare, but for Abed it is compounded by the maze of physical, emotional, and bureaucratic obstacles he must navigate because he is Palestinian. He is on the wrong side of the separation wall, holds the wrong ID to pass the military checkpoints, and has the wrong papers to enter the city of Jerusalem. Abed’s quest to find Milad is interwoven with the stories of a cast of Jewish and Palestinian characters whose lives and histories unexpectedly converge.

A Day in the Life of Abed Salama, Nathan Thrall―hailed for his “severe allergy to conventional wisdom” (Time)―offers an indelibly human portrait of the struggle over Israel/Palestine and a new understanding of the tragic history and reality of one of the most contested places on earth.

"Nathan Thrall’s book made me walk a lot. I found myself pacing around between chapters, paragraphs and sometimes even sentences just in order to be able to absorb the brutality, the pathos, the steely tenderness, and the sheer spectacle of the cunning and complex ways in which a state can hammer down a people and yet earn the applause and adulation of the civilized world for its actions.”
―Arundhati Roy, Booker Prizewinning author of My Seditious Heart

“It is hard to think of another book that gives such a poignant, deeply human face to the ongoing tragedy of Palestine. Thrall’s evocation of both a terrible crisis and the daily humiliations of life under occupation is nothing short of heartbreaking.”
―Adam Hochschild, National Book Award finalist and author of American Midnight

"A masterpiece ... an extraordinary achievement ... Day in the Life of Abed Salama is a challenge to ... anyone who does not understand how awful Israel’s occupation truly is. If they read it, and if they are honest, they will change."

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Metropolitan Books, 2023
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 270 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250854971


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