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Enter Ghost

av Isabella Hammad

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1386199,547 (3.97)31
"A bold, evocative new novel from the National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 and Betty Trask Award winner Isabella Hammad that follows actress Sonia as she returns to Palestine and takes a role in a West Bank production of Hamlet. After years away from her family's homeland, and healing from an affair with an established director, stage actress Sonia Nasir returns to Palestine to visit her older sister Haneen. Though the siblings grew up spending summers at their family home in Haifa, Sonia hasn't been since the second intifada and the deaths of her grandparents. While Haneen stayed and made a life commuting to Tel Aviv to teach at the university, Sonia remained in London to focus on her burgeoning acting career and now dissolute marriage. On her return, she finds her relationship to Palestine is fragile, both bone-deep and new. Once at Haneen's, Sonia meets the charismatic and candid Mariam, a local director, and finds herself roped into a production of Hamlet in the West Bank. Soon, Sonia is rehearsing Gertrude's lines in Classical Arabic and spending more time in Ramallah than in Haifa with a dedicated group of men from all over historic Palestine who, in spite of competing egos and priorities, each want to bring Shakespeare to that side of the wall. As opening night draws closer it becomes clear just how many invasive and violent obstacles stand before a troupe of Palestinian actors. Amidst it all, the life Sonia once knew starts to give way to the daunting, exhilarating possibility of finding a new self in her ancestral home. A stunning rendering of present-day Palestine, Enter Ghost is a story of diaspora, displacement, and the connection to be found in family and shared resistance. Timely, thoughtful, and passionate, Isabella Hammad's highly anticipated second novel is an exquisite feat, an unforgettable story of artistry under occupation"--… (mer)
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Enter Ghost, unfortunately, did not work for me. I never felt engaged with the characters nor the plot.

I felt indifferent towards Sonia, our protagonist. She is an actress, divorced and has returned to Palestine to visit her sister, Haneen. Haneen has lived in Palestine all of her life, and teaches at a university in Tel Aviv. Once back in Palestine, Sonia finds herself roped into a production of Hamlet, on the West Bank. The story is about the the relationships Sonia and others have with Palestine and Israel , as well as their personal relationships.

It was a slow read, and I did not feel I learned anything new about Palestine or Israel, nor the conflict there. I understand the play, Hamlet, is banned in Israeli prisons, as it thought that it would incite violence, once again, the play never interested me. In the soliloquy "To be or not to be" , the Prince of Denmark weighs whether to take up arms or suffer in silence. So acting the play was in itself an act of rebellion and resistance. I felt the story was lacking both character development and plot. However, many have loved this novel, so perhaps it will click for you. ( )
1 rösta vancouverdeb | Apr 8, 2024 |
The strength of this book is presenting the difficulties Palestinians face living in Israel, especially if they reside in the west bank. The protagonist is an actor now living in London, but with many relatives in Haifa and other areas of Israel. She volunteers for a production of Hamlet that has many similarities to the lives of those who are oppressed. I did not care for the writing, as I felt many of the characters were analyzing all behaviors and were very unsure of their meaning. The protagonist had a great deal of trouble with relationships as did many of their characters, and that is typical of people who have been degraded their whole lives and consider themselves "other." The ending was tragic, and I wish we had been given more information. ( )
  suesbooks | Mar 31, 2024 |
Hammad provides a relatable description of what everyday life is like in this area of perpetual conflict. The reader can see how the conflict is both internal and external. I found the most interesting parts those which focused on the sisters and their family and at the same time I was frustrated by the lean character development. ( )
  ccayne | Dec 27, 2023 |
Even without my shameful lack of knowledge of Shakespeare, this was a beautifully written, profound rendering of how difficult living in Israel has become for Palestinian Arabs. It felt so real I kept thinking it was a memoir. ( )
  bobbieharv | Aug 21, 2023 |
This book is centered on the Palestinian/Arab experience in Israel and the West Bank, in the context of a very personal story of a family and a group of friends/co-workers. It takes place primarily in Haifa and Ramallah. The strongest part of the book for me was the depiction of life for Palestians and Israeli Arabs. The author was born in Britian, as is the main character Sonia. But I assume that she has enough experience with the area to paint an accurate picture of what is happening there on a daily level. I wondered about this the most during the many border crossings that occur in the book. The politics of the moment are set out, and there is certainly a Palestinian slant here. But the Israeli Defense Forces are not presented as caricatures and are not as brutal/authoritarian as might be expected in a book like this. ( )
1 rösta BillPilgrim | Jun 5, 2023 |
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"A bold, evocative new novel from the National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 and Betty Trask Award winner Isabella Hammad that follows actress Sonia as she returns to Palestine and takes a role in a West Bank production of Hamlet. After years away from her family's homeland, and healing from an affair with an established director, stage actress Sonia Nasir returns to Palestine to visit her older sister Haneen. Though the siblings grew up spending summers at their family home in Haifa, Sonia hasn't been since the second intifada and the deaths of her grandparents. While Haneen stayed and made a life commuting to Tel Aviv to teach at the university, Sonia remained in London to focus on her burgeoning acting career and now dissolute marriage. On her return, she finds her relationship to Palestine is fragile, both bone-deep and new. Once at Haneen's, Sonia meets the charismatic and candid Mariam, a local director, and finds herself roped into a production of Hamlet in the West Bank. Soon, Sonia is rehearsing Gertrude's lines in Classical Arabic and spending more time in Ramallah than in Haifa with a dedicated group of men from all over historic Palestine who, in spite of competing egos and priorities, each want to bring Shakespeare to that side of the wall. As opening night draws closer it becomes clear just how many invasive and violent obstacles stand before a troupe of Palestinian actors. Amidst it all, the life Sonia once knew starts to give way to the daunting, exhilarating possibility of finding a new self in her ancestral home. A stunning rendering of present-day Palestine, Enter Ghost is a story of diaspora, displacement, and the connection to be found in family and shared resistance. Timely, thoughtful, and passionate, Isabella Hammad's highly anticipated second novel is an exquisite feat, an unforgettable story of artistry under occupation"--

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