Minor Detail

Adania Shibli, Elisabeth Jaquette (trans.)

Minor Detail
Text Publishing Co
19 May 2020

Minor Detail

Adania Shibli, Elisabeth Jaquette (trans.)

‘I could no longer accept the marginalised, minor life to which we had been exiled since 1948, when our existence turned into a “problem”‘. Adania Shibli, from her essay ‘Out of Time’.

Minor Detail revolves around a brutal crime committed one year after the War of 1948, which Palestinians mourn as the Nakba, the catastrophe that led to the displacement, exile, and refugeedom of some 700,000 people, and which Israelis celebrate as the War of Independence.

In the Naqab/Negev desert, Israeli soldiers capture and gang-rape a Palestinian girl in her teens. They kill her and bury her in the sand. Many years later, in the near-present day, a young woman in Ramallah reads about this ‘minor detail’ in a larger context, and becomes fascinated by it to the point of obsession. She embarks on a journey of discovery into the events surrounding that rape and murder - not only because of its gruesome nature but also because it happened to take place twenty-five years to the day before she was born.

Shibli’s compelling, intelligent prose is a form of resistance in itself.

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