Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Clockroot Books, 2014
Touch centres on a girl, the youngest of nine sisters in a Palestinian family. In the singular world of this novella, this young woman’s everyday experiences-watching a funeral procession, fighting with her siblings, learning to read, falling in love-resonate until they have become as weighty as any national tragedy. The smallest sensations compel, the events of history only lurk at the edges: the question of Palestine, the massacre at Sabra and Shatila. In a language that feels at once natural and alienated, Shibli breaks with the traditions of modern Arabic fiction, creating a work that has been and will continue to be hailed across literatures.
Translated from the Arabic by Paula Haydar.
Adania Shibli was born in 1974 in Palestine. She is a two-time winner of the Qattan Foundation’s Young Writer’s Award in 2002 and 2004 for her novels Touch (tr. Paula Haydar) and We Are All Equally Far from Love (tr. Paul Starkey, 2012). Her third novel Minor Detail (tr. Elizabeth Jaquette) was published with Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2020.