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Translated by Jessica Cohen
Award-winning journalist and author Nir Baram spent a year and a half travelling around the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In this fascinating recount of that journey, Baram navigates the conflict-ridden regions and hostile terrain to speak with a wide range of people, among them Palestinian–Israeli citizens trapped behind the separation wall in Jerusalem and Jewish settlers determined to forge new lives on the West Bank.
Baram also talks to children on Kibbutz Nirim who lived through the war in Gaza, and ex-prisoners from Fatah who, after spending years detained in Israeli jails, are now promoting a peace initiative. And he returns again and again to Jerusalem, city of his birth, where a hushed civil war is in full swing.
A Land Without Borders is a clear-eyed, compassionate and essential guide to understanding a complex reality; a perceptive and sensitive exploration of a labyrinthine conflict and the experiences of the people ensnared in it, by one of the most distinctive writers working in Israel today.
‘Written with great talent, momentum and ingenuity…it expands the borders of literature to reveal new landscapes.’
‘One of the most intriguing writers in Israeli literature today.’
‘A book that is a fascinating and charged document about the meaning of home, security and freedom, on both sides of the divide.’
‘Quite possibly, Dostoyevsky would write like this if he lived in Israel today.’
‘Good People rewards the reader’s patience while mining a tragic sense of irony that extends all the way to its title.’
‘Baram uses intense geographical plotting and is chillingly eloquent…[Good People] is tremendous. I read it in two sittings and I learned a lot. How does a man in his early 30s know how to write like this?’
‘Good People is a richly textured panorama of German and Russian life…This ample novel lives most memorably through Baram’s vignettes of people, dwellings, cities, landscapes and the like that seem to lie, at times, at the periphery of its central concerns.’
‘A groundbreaker…Riveting reading.’
‘Precise and evocative, Good People is a riveting glimpse into a different place and a different time.’
‘Astonishingly powerful…[A] compelling, important story.’
‘An honest and troubling snapshot of Israel…From horror to fatigue to indifference, an important look forward and back that provides a grass-roots sense that one state needs to satisfy sovereignty for all.’