Adania Shibli: Minor Detail

Adania Shibli has a sharpshooter’s precision;

in her choice of words and in her choice of details major or minor,

in her choice of literal depictions that have the power to stand as metaphors,

even in splitting the book accurately in half to give an equal number of pages for the first part and the second part of the story,

in her sense of irony in picking a character who seems to have an inability to identify physical borders and who is obsessed with an actual news report of a rape and murder case that was committed exactly twenty five years prior to the day she was born,

and in her choice of singling out a story of the rape of a Palestinian woman by Israeli soldiers in a place where senseless killings occur on a regular basis.

What Adania Shibli does not need to spell out is that a story of violated boundaries is always a story of rape, and vice versa.

This incisive portrait of the Palestinian plight begins as a bullet in motion, without you knowing.

You’ll only know upon impact,

when it hits you,

at the very last page.

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