Welcome to Ask the Author.
I’m Michelle Cohen Corasanti, the author of The Almond Tree, and this area is an opportunity for readers to ask me questions and have a discussion about the book.
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Novelist Robin Yassin-Kassab once said, “Palestinians, in the West at least, lack a popular counter narrative. Palestinians are reported on, met only in the news.” Do you agree?
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Do you think a ‘two-state solution’ is only means to resolve the conflict? Would creation of independent states restore peace?
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Was it a deliberate attempt on the author’s part to represent the two brothers Ahmed and Abbas in stark contrast in terms of their political ideas? Was it a case of the ‘Good’ Palestinian (Ahmed- the math prodigy who wins the Nobel) vs the ‘Bad’ Palestinian (Abbas- the freedom fighter and lives in abject poverty)? Ahmed’s easy acceptance of the oppressor’s society is hailed but Abbas’ rejection to be part of the same is criticized. Why?
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Based on some of the reviews online, I realised that a white woman’s perspective on freedom struggles and resistance movements (in this case the Israeli-Palestine conflict) is scrutinised sharply to an extent of dismissing it as a skewed viewpoint, a portrayal, which is away from the truth. Why do you think it happens, is it a fair assessment in so far your book is concerned? Susan Abulhawa, for instance, says it’s “neoliberal white supremacy cloaked in sympathy and pseudo-solidarity” (I have read your response to her as well) Do you feel a white woman’s voice lacks ‘empathy’?
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