Going Home

A Walk Through Fifty Years of Occupation

In a dazzling mix of reportage, analysis, and memoir, the leading Palestinian writer of our time reflects on aging, failure, the occupation, and the changing face of Ramallah

“Few Palestinians have opened their minds and their hearts with such frankness.”
The New York Times

In Going Home, Raja Shehadeh, the Orwell Prize–winning author of Palestinian Walks, takes us on a series of journeys around his hometown of Ramallah. Set in a single day—the day that happens to be the fiftieth anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza—the book is a powerful and moving record and chronicle of the changing face of his city.

Here is a city whose green spaces—gardens and hills crowned with olive trees—have been replaced by tower blocks and concrete lots; where the Israeli occupation has further entrenched itself in every aspect of movement, from the roads that can and cannot be used to the bureaucratic barriers that prevent people leaving the West Bank. Here also is a city that is culturally shifting, where Islam is taking a more prominent role in people’s everyday and political lives and in the geography of the city.

A penetrating evocation of memory, pain, and place that is lightened by everyday joys such as delightful accounts of shared meals and gardening, Going Home is perhaps Raja Shehadeh’s most moving and painfully visceral addition to his series of personal histories of the occupation, confirming Rachel Kushner’s judgment that “Shehadeh is a buoy in a sea of bleakness.”

Praise

“[Raja Shehadeh] interweaves personal revelations and political history in a candid, nostalgic reflection on life in Ramallah. . . . A moving memoir of the far-reaching challenges of life in the Middle East.”
Kirkus Reviews

News and Reviews

New York Times

Read an op-ed by Going Home author Raja Shehadeh in the New York Times that reflects on COVID-19 and his experience living under occupation in Ramallah.

Kirkus Reviews

Read a review of Going Home in Kirkus Reviews.

Books by Raja Shehadeh

Where the Line Is Drawn
A Tale of Crossings, Friendships, and Fifty Years of Occupation in Israel-Palestine

Raja Shehadeh