Where the Line Is Drawn: A Tale of Crossings, Friendships, and Fifty Years of Occupation in Israel-Palestine


Product Details

$25.95  $23.87
New Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 1.0 X 8.2 inches | 0.88 pounds

Earn by promoting books

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

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Raja Shehadeh is a writer, lawyer, and the founder of the pioneering Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq, an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists. He is the author of several books, including Strangers in the House; Occupation Diaries; Language of War, Language of Peace; the 2008 Orwell Prize-winning Palestinian Walks; and Where the Line Is Drawn (The New Press). He has written for the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, and other publications. He lives in Ramallah, Palestine.


Praise for Where the Line Is Drawn
"Writing has allowed Shehadeh to continue crossing into these territories, even as they become increasingly off-limits to him. His books are maps, painstakingly pieced together, of regions lost to senseless division, to bad choices, and to lies."
--The Nation

"Remarkable and hopeful . . . a deeply honest and intense memoir."
--Gal Beckerman, The New York Times Book Review

"Shehadeh describes with courage and grace the internal struggle to remain fair."
--The New Yorker

"No one else writes about Palestinian life under military occupation with such stubborn humanity, melancholy, and fragile grace. . . . One feels the loss in every paragraph Shehadeh writes, but also the inescapable beauty that remains, which both softens and deepens the rage."
--The Guardian

"Shehadeh's incisive, lyrical memoir cuts to the core of a complex cultural identity."
--Financial Times

"A gentle, hopeful book of what could and should be. His belief in 'we will'--have a soverign state, lasting peace, and mutual forgiveness--inspires, exemplifies, and leads"

"A beautifully impressionistic exploration of shared cultural understanding despite the narrowing of borders."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Shehadeh brilliantly evokes the Palestinian tragedy by way of a complex friendship. This is a fiercely intelligent and honest account."
--Ian McEwan

"The question of how and if friendships can survive across political divides is a resonant one, and I can think of no one better than Raja Shahadeh to treat it with the wisdom, toughness and humanity that it deserves."
--Kamila Shamsie

"Raja Shehadeh's Where the Line Is Drawn is a courageous and timely meditation on the fragility of friendship in dark times, illuminating how affiliation and love--without pretence or concealment, in defiance of occupation and estrangement--can have a profound political power. I hope many people will read and dwell on this unforgettable book."
--Madeleine Thien

"Written with fierce clarity and unusual compassion, this book touches the human heart of a political tragedy. A moving tribute to the power of human connection in even the harshest circumstances."
--Gillian Slovo

"While I was in Ramallah, I met the Palestinian writer Raja Shehadeh, whose work I did not previously know. His books--including Strangers in the House and When the Birds Stopped Singing--were a discovery: he is a great inquiring spirit with a tone that is vivid, ironic, melancholy, and wise."
--Colm Toibin

"The wisdom and elegance of Raja Shehadeh's thinking and writing are more necessary than ever. This book, a personal history of life under occupation, appeals to--and speaks of--an insistence on dignity, regardless of borders and of endless war. Raja Shehadeh is a buoy in a sea of bleakness."
--Rachel Kushner

"In the dark agony of the Palestine-Israel conflict, Raja Shehadeh offers a rare gift: a lucid, honest, unsparing voice. His humanity and wisdom are invaluable. Where the Line Is Drawn powerfully records many testing aspects of Shehadeh's life under Israeli occupation, but at its heart is his long-lived friendship with a fellow intellectual and seeker, Jewish and Israeli. In their bond lies reason for hope. . . . It's a beautiful book."
--Claire Messud

"Raja Shehadeh writes with a poised clarity about the intricacies of living as an honorable Palestinian. His humility and dignity shine on every page whether he is discussing his lifelong literary friendship with an Israeli Jew or trying to drive home at night with his wife from a classical music concert along once familiar childhood roads that have become a maze of high-risk choices. This is that rarest of books--a powerful chronicle told with tenderness."
--Lorraine Adams

"The weight of oppression, as Raja Shehadeh calls it, bears down on every page of this delicate, thoughtful memoir of Palestinian life under Israeli occupation."
--Fatima Bhutto

Praise for Raja Shehadeh's Palestinian Walks
"A work of passionate polemic, journeying, history, and autobiography."
--The New Yorker

"Few Palestinians have opened their minds and their hearts with such frankness."
--The New York Times

"Superbly written."
--The Economist

"An important testament to political failure, never more relevant than today."
--Time Out

"This beautiful book is not just a guide to the Palestinian present; it is an Israeli album of what is taking place in a faraway land: Palestine."

"Shehadeh's memoir is profoundly pained, his anguish over Israeli occupation policies palpable, as he lovingly sketches a landscape that is rapidly disappearing."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)