Penguin Press has signed a "dramatic and deeply tragic" portrait of life in Palestine by Nathan Thrall after a three-way auction.
Commissioning editor Maria Bedford acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for A Day in the Life of Abed Salama from Devon Mazzone at Metropolitan Books. Allen Lane will publish the book in 2023.
The synopsis says: "A Day in the Life of Abed Salama tells the story of a dramatic and deeply tragic event—the collision of a Palestinian school bus with a tractor trailer owned by an Israeli settler, on its way to gather stones in a West Bank quarry—that brings together, in a single heart-breaking day, a small cast of characters whose interwoven lives make up an intricate tapestry of the modern history of the Holy Land. The book will also make the case that the Palestine-Israeli conflict is increasingly best understood as a system of apartheid."
An early kernel of the book appeared in a viral piece in the New York Review of Books in March and was circulated in Congress by representative Ro Khanna. The piece has already garnered praise from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Michelle Alexander, J M Coetzee and Noam Chomsky.
Bedford said: “We are thrilled to welcome Nathan Thrall to Allen Lane with this important and spellbinding book. Exquisitely written, A Day in the Life of Abed Salama will bring readers into the lived reality of life on the ground in Palestine: the sensations, the emotions, and the way history resonates through daily life. Telling the story of one man's quest to find his son within the labyrinth of Israeli rule, and weaving this narrative together with a rich tapestry of historical detail, Nathan Thrall shows us not only the human cost of this conflict but also how we must reach a new understanding of what it has become. This book will leave every reader changed.”
Thrall added: “In Allen Lane and Maria Bedford, I've found a perfect editorial partner. I couldn't be more pleased to be working with them to bring this book into the world.”
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