The Way to the Spring
‘Profoundly powerful not only in observations and stories, but in how courageously and carefully it speaks to our present moment’ Madeleine Thien, Guardian
Over three years, journalist and novelist Ben Ehrenreich travelled to the West Bank’s largest cities and smallest villages, and stayed with the Palestinian families who live there. Here, he weaves together the stories of these women, men and children: the extremes to which they are pushed, the daily absurdities and tragedies they face, and the strategies they construct to survive. What follows is a testimony, a provocation, and an unflinching act of witness.
‘I am gripped… Ehrenreich lived with many of those he writes about, and so his story is wonderfully intimate… I feel more like I’m involved in a pacey novel than struggling to swallow yet more unpalatable truths’ Observer
‘The myriad ordeals suffered by the Palestinian people during the last eighty years are minutely reported here. It’s a chronicle of their daily lives. Read it! It recognises and respects hope’ John Berger
‘Capture[s] events unfolding on the West Bank with sympathy and restraint’ Colm Toibin, Irish Times
Powerful... Palestinian lives matter to Ehrenreich, and he writes about them from the bottom-up, with hard-boiled lyricism, novelistic intimacy and a revolutionary's sense of urgency. [This] is more than a work of journalism. It is a freedom song, burning with humanity... Heartbreaking and joyful -- Adam Shatz A chillingly beautiful, albeit heartbreaking, chronicle of Palestinian life in the West Bank. It's written with immense empathy, but is equally grounded, and urgently real -- Yasmine El Rashidi * Guardian * The myriad ordeals suffered by the Palestinian people during the last eighty years are minutely reported here. It's a chronicle of their daily lives. Read it! It recognises and respects hope -- John Berger Ben Ehrenreich's rendition of the Palestinian experience is powerful, deep and heartbreaking, so much closer to the ground than the Middle East reporting we usually see. I wish there were more writers as brave -- Adam Hochschild, author * To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 * An astonishing book. And that's shocking in itself: Ben Ehrenreich takes a detailed, up-close look at the lives of people whose ordeal, though relentless, remains, most of the time, just below the radar of our governments and mass media. We generally pride ourselves on our willingness to speak for the disadvantaged, but remain truculent and evasive in the case of Palestinians. There can be no more excuses, if The Way to the Spring is given the widespread attention it deserves, for such uncharacteristic moral cowardice -- Robert Wyatt I loved The Way To The Spring. Ehrenreich is excellent on the nuances of suffering and survival. The book is to be read with acceptance, subtlety and an open mind - just as it was written -- Bidisha So much has been written about the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel but rarely with such vividness, eloquence and success in illuminating complex historical and political realities. The Way to the Spring is a superbly intelligent, informative and critical book about one of the fundamental issues of our time -- Raja Shehadeh Written with fire in the belly and a hawk's eye for the telling fact. The Way to the Spring is an unforgettable read but not an easy one, full of uncomfortable and inconvenient truths. Ehrenreich's great talent is for testimony; the individual human stories that disrupt gross injustice by asking questions about morality, legality and the actual historical record. Ehrenreich's non-fiction debut is a powerful and unwavering pursuit of the through-lines of freedom -- Rachel Holmes Mr Ehrenreich did not set out to write an objective book; he does not even think it is possible. This is simply a description, details [...] of what the facts on the ground look like if you are one of a particular group of Palestinians in the West Bank. It should be read by friends and foes of Israel alike * Economist *
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