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The true story of a friendship spanning religious divisions and four decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Sandy Tolan is a journalist, teacher and documentary radio producer and has reported from more than 30 countries, particularly in the Middle East. He has produced dozens of radio documentaries and has written for newspapers and magazines including the New York Times and USA Today. He now teaches international reporting at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.
Journalist Tolan (Me and Hank: A Boy and His Hero 25 Years Later) captures the Arab-Israeli struggle in this story of a house and the two families, first Palestinian and then Jewish, who successively lived in it. Members of both families came to know one another and to seek dialog between Arabs and Jews. This wonderful human story vividly depicts the depths of attachment to contested ground. An excellent choice for general readers. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The title of this moving, well-crafted book refers to a tree in the backyard of a home in Ramla, Israel. The home is currently owned by Dalia, a Jewish woman whose family of Holocaust survivors emigrated from Bulgaria. But before Israel gained its independence in 1948, the house was owned by the Palestinian family of Bashir, who meets Dalia when he returns to see his family home after the Six-Day War of 1967. Journalist Tolan (Me & Hank) traces the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the parallel personal histories of Dalia and Bashir and their families-all refugees seeking a home. As Tolan takes the story forward, Dalia struggles with her Israeli identity, and Bashir struggles with decades in Israeli prisons for suspected terrorist activities. Those looking for even a symbolic magical solution to that conflict won't find it here: the lemon tree dies in 1998, just as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process stagnates. But as they follow Dalia and Bashir's difficult friendship, readers will experience one of the world's most stubborn conflicts firsthand. 2 maps. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"At a time when peace seems remote and darkness deepens, this lucid, humane, hopeful book shines like a ray of light" * The Times * "A superb, sustained piece of narrative non-fiction" * The Sunday Times * "Extraordinary... Tolan's narrative provides a much needed human dimension to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict... a highly readable and evocative history" * Washington Post * "Reads like a novel... an informed take for anyone interested in the human stories behind a conflict" * New Statesman * "A fascinating and highly absorbing account full of warmth, compassion and hope" * Scotland on Sunday *