The Parisian

Isabella Hammad (Author)
Available

Description

A masterful debut novel by Plimpton Prize winner Isabella Hammad, The Parisian illuminates a pivotal period of Palestinian history through the journey and romances of one young man, from his studies in France during World War I to his return to Palestine at the dawn of its battle for independence.

Midhat Kamal is the son of a wealthy textile merchant from Nablus, a town in Ottoman Palestine. A dreamer, a romantic, an aesthete, in 1914 he leaves to study medicine in France, and falls in love. When Midhat returns to Nablus to find it under British rule, and the entire region erupting with nationalist fervor, he must find a way to cope with his conflicting loyalties and the expectations of his community. The story of Midhat's life develops alongside the idea of a nation, as he and those close to him confront what it means to strive for independence in a world that seems on the verge of falling apart.

Against a landscape of political change that continues to define the Middle East, The Parisian explores questions of power and identity, enduring love, and the uncanny ability of the past to disrupt the present. Lush and immersive, and devastating in its power, The Parisian is an elegant, richly-imagined debut from a dazzling new voice in fiction.

Product Details

Price
$27.00  $24.84
Publisher
Grove Press
Publish Date
April 09, 2019
Pages
576
Dimensions
6.0 X 1.7 X 9.1 inches | 1.95 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780802129437
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

ISABELLA HAMMAD was born in London. She won the 2018 Plimpton Prize for Fiction for her story "Mr. Can'aan." Her writing has appeared in Conjunctions and the Paris Review. The Parisian is her first novel.

Reviews

WINNER OF THE 2019 PALESTINE BOOK AWARD

Praise for The Parisian
A New York Times Notable Book of 2019
A 2019 Barnes & Noble Discover Selection
One of Vogue's Best Novels of 2019
An April IndieNext Selection

One of Amazon's Best Books of 2019
One of Lit Hub's Ultimate Best Books of 2019

"Dazzling... A deeply imagined historical novel with none of the usual cobwebs of the genre... 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... Exquisite."--New York Times Book Review

"Assured and captivating... Ms. Hammad's acute evocation of place and personality ensures that we are never lost... This agile writer sets us firmly in place, fixing our attention on intersecting lives."--Wall Street Journal

"Reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient and Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong, 27-year-old Isabella Hammad's epic debut novel surpasses both in its scope."--New York

"Stunning...a lush rendering of Palestinian life a century ago under the British mandate and a sumptuous epic about the enduring nature of love."--Vogue

"Hammad uses the features of historical novels to cut through the familiar dichotomies of West and Near East, placing her protagonist in a rich web of families, political intrigues, and cultural exchanges, and subtly reconfiguring the literary tropes of 'home' and 'abroad.'"--New Yorker

"Epic... Because the book takes place in the complicated time and spaces that it does, the narrative grapples with sociopolitical concerns as well as it does the intimate, human ones. It sweeps you along."--Vanity Fair

"Superb... Elegantly controlled...The Parisian makes history, and its actors, live once again."--Boston Globe

"[A] lush historical epic with echoes of Stendhal."--O Magazine

"With historical sweep and sentences of startling beauty, [Hammad] has written the story of a displaced dreamer... Readers will be rewarded with a new voice worth listening to."--Christian Science Monitor

"Provocative, testing and magnificently risky, this is an author writing for her life."--Telegraph

"Lavish, leisurely and immersive... The Parisian comes across as both old-fashioned and modern-minded.... Ms. Hammad's command of the broad picture and the filigree detail alike makes this paradoxical tone succeed. One of Midhat's French friends disdains the small stuff since he "was an architect, not a carpenter." Ms. Hammad knows, and triumphantly shows, that a novelist of vision must be both."--Economist

"Remarkably accomplished... Hammad is a natural storyteller. She sustains tension and suspends revelation skillfully, and interweaves character and theme, the global and the local, with the assurance of a much more experienced author. The writing is deeply humane, its wide vision combined with poised restraint... The Parisian teems with riches - love, war, betrayal and madness - and marks the arrival of a bright new talent."--Guardian

"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."--Observer

"Hammad has an exquisite control on her subject: this is precise writing, measured, and careful... Much of the pleasure of the book is to be found in Hammad's often strikingly clear, original imagery ... She also provides many canny shifts in focus, from a cinematic, establishing wide-shots of a location, deftly sketched, to zooming in on the tiniest, most intimate detail ...It is Hammad's sustaining of both perspectives, the minutiae that make up an individual life and the macro political upheavals that change a country forever, that makes The Parisian so impressive."--Independent

"Isabella Hammad shows rare maturity, both in her marshaling of a huge cast of characters and in her ability to illuminate such a politically charged period of history without didacticism or literary showboating."--Mail on Sunday

"Sumptuous and sharply observed - an old-school novel to lost yourself in."--Metro

"It's hard to believe this sweeping, sophisticated historical novel is Isabella Hammad's debut -- Hammad is truly a talent to watch."--Refinery29

"Hammad is an ambitious, sensitive, and abundantly talented writer... An exciting new voice in literature."--Omnivoracious

"A triumph... A big, bold love story nestled within a powerful drama about the centuries-old Palestinian struggle for independence."--Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"In her exceptional debut, Hammad taps into the satisfying slow-burn style of classic literature with a storyline that captures both the heart and the mind....Richly textured prose drives the novel's spellbinding themes of the ebb and flow of cultural connections and people who struggle with love, familial responsibilities, and personal identity. This is an immensely rewarding novel that readers will sink into and savor."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An assured debut novel... closely observed and elegantly written."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A hugely accomplished historical sweep of a book... a novel of immense skill and confidence."--Guardian

"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

"The Parisian is a sublime reading experience: delicate, restrained, surpassingly intelligent, uncommonly poised and truly beautiful. It is realism in the tradition of Flaubert and Stendhal - everything that happens feels not so much imagined as ordained. That this remarkable historical epic should be the debut of a writer in her mid-twenties seems impossible, yet it's true. Isabella Hammad is an enormous talent and her book is a wonder."--Zadie Smith

"The Parisian is extraordinary--wise, ambitious, and lavishly rewarding. With luminous prose and rare compassion, Isabella Hammad offers her readers an absorbing story of war and identity, of love and independence, of hope and history. It's an astonishing novel, heralding the arrival of a major talent."--Bret Anthony Johnston

"The Parisian is a lushly imagined, beautifully written, expansive powerhouse of a debut. Isabella Hammad is a great new voice."--Nathan Englander

"An exquisite, intricate and wise novel. I was utterly gripped from the first page until the last. This sweeping, historical epic marks the arrival of a wonderfully gifted author. Isabella Hammad is a marvel and The Parisian is an unforgettable read."--Irenosen Okojie

"With masterful lyricism and unflinching insight, The Parisian captures the personal passion and political violence of a nascent nation's struggle for independence. Hammad has written a profound and intoxicating epic, brimming with unexpected, vivid imagery and unforgettable characters. Hers is a fresh voice of the first order."--Bradford Morrow

"A model of what the short story can do...[A] most ingenious and openhearted work."--David Gates on Isabella Hammad's "Mr. Can'aan," winner of the 2018 Plimpton Prize