"Intricately weaving past and present, humour and pain, love and loss, Jerusalem Stands Alone is a beautiful homage to a living, breathing city so often reduced to nothing more than a pawn in political games."—Middle East Monitor
"In these poetic, interconnected microfictions, Shukair excels in capturing the political, social, and historic tensions of an ancient city under occupation. A contemplative feast of deep, subtle undertones, Shukair's writing mobilizes an intimate, calm narrative to explore the convulsions lurking beneath the strained surface of Jerusalem."—Hisham Bustani, author of The Perception of Meaning
"Shukair’s literary work is an elegant reflection of Jerusalem as a place called 'home' in the eyes of Palestinians who are living there. Fares’ professional translation into English is an enhancement to this reflection, preserving the lyrical flow of the original work."—Middle East Librarians Association
"Shukair tenderly and brilliantly explores the city's deep soul, through gorgeous lyrical portraits of its inhabitants. Poets will love this book. Reading it feels like a healing. . . . Jerusalem Stands Alone will be the enduring truth, not the pitiful passing news."—Naomi Shihab Nye, author of 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East
By turns bleak, nostalgic, and lighthearted, Jerusalem Stands Alone explores the interconnected lives of its mostly Palestinian cast. This series of quick moving vignettes tells the story of occupied Jerusalem—tales of the daily tribulations and personal revelations of its narrators. The stories, entwined around themes of family and identity, diverge in viewpoint and chronology but ultimately unite to reveal the tapestry of Palestinian Jerusalem. The settings evoke the past—churches, alleys, and people who are gone but whose spirits yearn to be remembered. The characters are sons and mothers, soldiers and wives, all of whom unveil themselves in sometimes poignant, sometimes bittersweet memories. As its history rises up through the present struggles and hopes of its people, the deepest, most personal layers of Jerusalem are revealed.
Mahmoud Shukair is a Palestinian writer of short stories and novels for adults and teenagers. He is the author of forty-five books, six television series, and four plays. His stories have been translated into several languages, including English, French, German, Chinese, Mongolian, and Czech. In 2011, he was awarded the Mahmoud Darwish Prize for Freedom of Expression. He has spent his life between Beirut, Amman, and Prague and now lives in Jerusalem.
Nicole Fares teaches world literature at the University of Arkansas and is a doctoral candidate in comparative literature and cultural studies. She has translated novels, short stories, and poetry from Arabic to English, including the novel 32, by Sahar Mandour.