The Voice of Witness staff has been so pleased to hear the encouraging reactions of early Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation readers—especially since those readers include George Saunders, Ben Ehrenreich, and Noam Chomsky. We’d like to share there reactions now and link to an excerpt from one of the narratives that Guernica published last week . . .
“A stunning, essential, and heartbreaking book that puts a profoundly human face on the suffering of the Palestinian people. This should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the Middle East, which is to say: everyone.
Like all Voice of Witness books, Palestine Speaks, uses the grand old tools, presenting beautifully shaped narratives that evoke the reader’s empathy and help him see the connections between himself and the people narrating. The effect is magical and empowering–the reader feels a sense of connection and warmth, and is thus able to imagine positive outcomes. In other words, to read a Voice of Witness book is to feel one’s habitual sense of disconnection begin to fall away.” –George Saunders, author of The Tenth of December and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient
“Thirty years ago, Edward Said wrote of the systematic exclusion of Palestinian voices from American public discourse, of Palestinians being denied the ‘permission to narrate’ their own lives. Not nearly enough has changed, but Palestine Speaks–a collection of testimonials from Palestinians narrating their own experiences, their own suffering, their own choices–defies that interdiction. This is a rare and courageous book.” –Ben Ehrenreich, journalist and author of Ether and The Suitors
“Palestine Speaks demonstrates that nothing is more eloquent than the voices of those who endure and try valiantly to survive. Nothing is more important for us than to listen to them carefully, to grasp their suffering, to learn from their testimonies about them and about ourselves, and to use this understanding to bring their tragedy to an end.” –Noam Chomsky, author and professor at MIT