The Parisian

The Parisian

As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself.

Midhat Kamal picks his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong.

Isabella Hammad delicately unpicks the tangled politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era – the Palestinian struggle for independence from the British Mandate, the strife of the early twentieth century and the looming shadow of the Second World War. An intensely human story amidst a global conflict, The Parisian is historical fiction with a remarkable contemporary voice.

Title:The Parisian
ISBN:9781473547674
Format Type:

    The Parisian Reviews

  • Paromjit

    Isabella Hammad writes of a period of history that frames and depicts one of the most intransigent conflicts of our contemporary world, she covers the can of worms that is the geopolitical nightmare o...

  • Adam Dalva

    I loved this book - was really swept away by it - and will say more once it comes out! It does a lot of really good things (transporting historical fiction that is relevant to now, interpersonal drama...

  • Beata

    I was left almost speechless after finishing this novel. A review in one of the magazines caught my attention and I made a quick decision to purchase this novel and give it a chance despite knowing ve...

  • Fran

    "When I look at my life...I see a whole list of mistakes. Lovely beautiful mistakes. I wouldn't change them". Midhat Kamal reflects on a life lived, beginning in Nablus, a village north of Jerusalem. ...

  • Gumble's Yard

    Now (as I expected) longlisted for the 2020 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction. Midhat was only half-listening, because he was thinking about the way his own charade might be told after he was de...

  • Roman Clodia

    Sometimes it just seems like you've been reading a completely different book from fellow reviewers - this is the case for me here. It's certainly ambitious to attempt to tell the story of the troubled...

  • Will

    4.5, rounded up Isabella Hammads ambitious, and accomplished historical novel is an auspicious debut and a remarkable achievement for such a young writer. There is little to criticize in such an intel...

  • Vivek Tejuja

    Hands Down, The Parisian is one of the best books I've read this year and its only mid-March. But I can say this with utmost assurance. I do not normally read historical novels but The Parisian is an ...

  • Mandy

    This sprawling saga tells the story of Midhat Kamal as he leaves his native Nablus (now in the Israeli-occupied West Bank) in 1914, just before the outbreak of war, to study medicine in France. After ...

  • Lou

    A masterful debut novel by Plimpton Prize winner Isabella Hammad, The Parisian illuminates a pivotal period of Palestinian history through the journey and romances of one young man, from his studies i...