Claire Hajaj and Dorit Rabinyan: Border Love
Chair: Arifa Akbar
Claire Hajaj’s assured and ambitious debut Ishmael’s Oranges and Dorit Rabinyan’s prizewinning All the Rivers are spellbinding novels exploring the faultlines that threaten the likelihood of enduring love between Arab and Jew. In a captivating narrative of love and loss, Ishmael's Oranges tells the story of two families against the background of repeated conflicts to examine whether love can transcend the legacy of hatred.
In a momentous tale, crisscrossed by physical and emotional borderlines, Dorit Rabinyan’s All the Rivers courageously demarcates an intimate short-term space for two, far from the tensions and fissures that create the separation between ‘us’ and ‘them’. In conversation with the director of the forthcoming M-Fest, critic Arifa Akbar.
Sponsored by the New Israel Fund. In association with Profile.
Claire Hajaj has spent her life building bridges between two worlds, sharing both Palestinian and Jewish heritage. Her childhood was split between the deserts of the Middle East and the gardens of rural England. She has lived on four continents and worked for the United Nations in war zones from Burma to Baghdad. A former journalist for the BBC World Service, Claire’s writing has also appeared in Time Out.
Dorit Rabinyan was born in Kfar Saba, Israel, in 1972 to a Persian-Jewish family and now lives in Tel Aviv. She published her first novel at the age of 22. In addition to her novels, Rabinyan has written a screenplay for commercial television, Shuli`s Fiance, and a children's book. She now hosts a weekly TV culture program. Rabinyan has been awarded the Wiener Prize , the JQ Wingate Award , the Best Drama of the Year Award from the Israel Film Academy, the Prime Minister's Prize , the Literary ACUM Award and the Bernstein Prize and the Publishers Association's Platinum Prize.
Arifa Akbar is a journalist, literary critic, and director of ‘M-Fest’, a forthcoming Muslim festival of books and ideas, to be launched in September 2017 at Kings Place. The former literary editor of the Independent, she judges many prestigious prizes, chairs many author events, writes book reviews for the Financial Times, is a regular newspaper reviewer for Sky News, and is on the advisory committee for English PEN’s writing-in-translation programme.