A Day in the Life of Abed Salama

A Day in the Life of Abed Salama

A Palestine Story

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.


LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION

A gripping, intimate story of one heartbreaking day in Palestine that reveals lives, loves, enmities, and histories in violent collision

Milad is five years old and excited for his school trip to a theme park on the outskirts of Jerusalem, but tragedy awaits: his bus is involved in a horrific accident. His father, Abed, rushes to the chaotic site, only to find Milad has already been taken away. Abed sets off on a journey to learn Milad's fate, navigating a maze of physical, emotional, and bureaucratic obstacles he must face as a Palestinian.

Interwoven with Abed's odyssey are the stories of Jewish and Palestinian characters whose lives and pasts unexpectedly converge: a kindergarten teacher and a mechanic who rescue children from the burning bus; an Israeli army commander and a Palestinian official who confront the aftermath at the scene of the crash; a settler paramedic; ultra-Orthodox emergency service workers; and two mothers who each hope to claim one severely injured boy.

A Day in the Life of Abed Salama is a deeply immersive, stunningly detailed portrait of life in Israel and Palestine, and an illumination of the reality of one of the most contested places on earth.

'A deeply immersive portrait of daily life in Israel and the West Bank' The Best Books to Understand the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Financial Times


'Brims over with just the sort of compassion and understanding that is needed at a time like this … when facts have become weapons in this seemingly endless conflict, this is a book that speaks with deep and authentic truth of ordinary lives trapped in the jaws of history' Observer

©2024 Nathan Thrall (P)2024 Penguin Audio

Reviews

  • A deeply immersive portrait of daily life in Israel and the West Bank arranged around the story of a Palestinian child and a school trip that ends in tragedy following a traffic accident. Weaving together the ordinary and interwoven lives of Jewish and Palestinian inhabitants, Thrall, a Jerusalem-based author and journalist, illuminates the complex realities of one of the world’s most contested regions
    The Best Books to Understand the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Financial Times

About the author

Nathan Thrall

Nathan Thrall is the author of The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine. His writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, Guardian, New York Review of Books, and The New York Times Magazine and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He spent a decade at the International Crisis Group, where he was Director of the Arab-Israeli Project, and has taught at Bard College, New York. He lives in Jerusalem.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more