I Was Born There, I Was Born Here, By Mourid Barghouti

 

First in poetry, then in memoirs, Mourid Barghouti has converted the fragmentary, scattered experience of the Palestinian exile into a special kind of art.

In this slice of elegiac autobiography, a sort of sequel to I Saw Ramallah, he tells of his return visit to occupied Palestine and efforts to rediscover his past, his family, his memories.

As his Egyptian-born son Tamim at last sees his roots, Barghouti examines this homecoming in episodes of pin-sharp lyricism - and sardonic comedy. Humphrey Davies translates with his usual eloquence.

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