A Long Walk from Gaza demonstrates day-to-day life in an occupied area, where freedom is often just a dream.


The Description

Publication Date: May 7, 2024

The violence of life in Gaza which has taken on immense proportions for the whole world to see is intimately rendered here in a human story of resistance and resilience.

In the tradition of Palestinian women writers, Asmaa Alatawna a has gifted us a novel that is both personal and political, that exposes both the occupation and the patriarchy. A Long Walk from Gaza is a coming-of-age story that follows its teenage protagonist through her battles with a strict and abusive father, the exhilaration of her first crush, confrontations with occupation soldiers, and the heartbreak of leaving her home Gaza for a new life in Europe. Beginning in Europe and working backward to her own birth and early childhood, Alatawna’s creative narration mirrors the traumas of her life and her people.

A Long Walk from Gaza not only exposes the harshness of both male authority and the stifling of the dreams of girls in parallel with the devastating conditions Palestinians endure under a brutal Israeli occupation, but also the challenges of fleeing these for a cold, alienating life in Europe. Alatawna lays these bare within a story that also showcases moments of humor, joy, and the human capacity to survive and thrive at all costs. She skillfully weaves together the challenges of growing up in occupied Palestine while exposing the many intersections of violence, patriarchy, and growing up in a society that offers girls little to no compassion. Her teenage protagonist’s feminist point of view is fresh and honest, powerfully conveying the heartbreaking truths of her life.

At heart, A Long Walk from Gaza is a tale of freedom. Each of the characters is psychically wounded by their circumstances and each resists in their own way. Gaza comes to life in Alatawna’s novel, showing a rich and diverse society—its flaws along with its beauty, showing us worlds, which are being destroyed and some of which no longer exist today.

The Review

With international attention focusing on the war in Gaza, it’s sometimes challenging to remember the images are connected to real people. Whether Israeli or Palestinian, they are human.

Author Asmaa Alatawna shares her story in A Long Walk from Gaza. Within the pages, she illustrates life in an occupied area. Not only is she impacted by political forces, but her choices as a female are highly restricted.

The story unfolds with the author finding freedom in Europe, detailing the many challenges she had to overcome as a refugee. Then, the story shifts back to her life growing up in Gaza. Her home life often mirrored the violence taking place in the streets.

Her account provides an in-depth look into Palestinian culture, where peace is an unfamiliar concept. The path to a new life requires resilience, which she demonstrates with each stumbling block that falls in her path.

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Born in Gaza in 1978, Asmaa Alatawna is a Palestinian Bedouin from the desert of Al Naqb, and a French citizen and resident of Toulouse since 2001. A graduate of English literature from the University of Al Azhar, she then obtained her masters in geopolitics from Sciences Po. While in Gaza, Asmaa worked at the Spanish press agency EFE. Today, she is a member of the Institute for Experimental Arts La Petite board in the cinema domain. Alatawna is known for her involvement in art and gender issues.

Caline Nasrallah is a literary translator, editor, and researcher with a focus on language as a feminist tool. She has co-translated two novels, A Long Walk from Gaza being her third. Her editing and translation work spans fiction and non-fiction. She endeavors to put language at the service of liberation in each of her projects.

Michelle Hartman is a professor of Arabic Literature at McGill University and literary translator of fiction, based in Montreal. She has written extensively on women’s writing and the politics of language use and translation and literary solidarities. She is the translator of several works from Arabic, including Radwa Ashour’s memoir The Journey, Iman Humaydan’s novels Wild Mulberries and Other Lives, Jana Elhassan’s IPAF shortlisted novels The Ninety-Ninth Floor and All the Women Inside Me as well as Alexandra Chreiteh’s novels Always Coca Cola and Ali and His Russian Mother.


Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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A Long Walk from Gaza demonstrates day-to-day life in an occupied area, where freedom is often just a dream.4-STAR REVIEW: A LONG WALK FROM GAZA by Asmaa Alatawna