Length: 368 Pages
‘A sublime reading experience: delicate, restrained, surpassingly intelligent, uncommonly poised and truly beautiful’ Zadie Smith
'The Parisian is a gripping historical novel, a poignant romance, and a revelatory family epoch. Above all, it is a generous gift. There is a kind of joy that can hold not only pleasure, but struggle, and even sadness. This novel tells that kind of joyful story, and evokes that kind of joy in the reader' Jonathan Safran Foer
Midhat Kamal navigates his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong.
Through Midhat's eyes we see the tangled politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era – the Palestinian struggle for independence, the strife of the early twentieth century and the looming shadow of the Second World War. Told in rich and sumptuous detail, The Parisian asks profound questions about cultural identity, politics, love, and how we retain our humanity in a deeply conflicted world.
*AN OBSERVER HOTLY TIPPED DEBUT NOVELIST OF 2019*
Length: 368 Pages
"Isabella Hammad’s remarkably accomplished debut novel very quickly snares the reader’s attention… Hammad is a natural storyteller... The writing is deeply humane, its wide vision combined with poised restraint… A story of cultures in simultaneous conflict and concord, The Parisian teems with riches – love, war, betrayal and madness – and marks the arrival of a bright new talent."
"Breathtaking… Isabella Hammad establishes herself here as a literary force to be reckoned with. The Parisian is, in many ways, an extraordinary achievement."
"A stunning 576-page debut, both a lush rendering of Palestinian life a century ago under the British Mandate and a sumptuous epic about the enduring nature of love… a small, beautiful, human story blazing against the enormity of the sociopolitical one… a novel you sink into."
"One of the most ambitious first novels to have appeared in years… Written in soulful, searching prose, it’s a jam-packed epic… Hammad is a natural social novelist with an ear for lively dialogue as well as an ability to illuminate psychological interiority… Hammad is a writer of startling talent – and The Parisian has the rhythm of life."
"The Parisian has an up-close immediacy and stylistic panache that are all the more impressive coming from a London-born writer still in her 20s… There are intimidating 19th-century precedents – Tolstoy, Turgenev, Stendhal… Isabella Hammad has crafted an exquisite novel that, like Midhat himself, delves back into the confusing past while remaining wholly anchored in the precarious present."