Their voices come from Bethlehem and Hebron. You can hear them from Jerusalem to Nazareth, and witness their protests in Gaza and Ramallah. From the refugee camps in the West Bank, you can hear the voices of the Palestinian people call out to demand self-determination and a better quality of life. But outside of Israel and the occupied territories, these individual voices have rarely been heard - until now. In "Beyond the Wall: Writing a Path through Palestine", internationally renowned feminist critic and writer Bidisha collects the testimonies of an occupied people - ordinary citizens, activists, children - alongside those of international aid workers and foreign visitors for a revelatory look at a population on the margins. Called "beautifully belligerent, [and] fiercely intelligent" by the "Independent" and a "dazzlingly creative writer" by the "Times", Bidisha amplifies the voices of the Palestinian people in this book and lends to them her own considerable strength.
Bidisha is a critic, writer and broadcaster. She was born in London and raised by her mother, a mathematician and physicist turned computer scientist. Bidisha began writing professionally for arts magazines i-D, Dazed and Confused, Volume and the NME at the age of 15, and in 1995, aged 16, she signed a book deal with HarperCollins. Her first novel, Seahorses, was published two years later while she was studying Old and Middle English at Oxford. During this time she had regular opinion columns in The Big Issue magazine, the Daily Telegraph, and The Independent.
Bidisha did her MSc at the London School of Economics, specialising in Moral and Political Philosophy and Economic History.
Bidisha's second novel, the thriller Too Fast to Live, was published when she was 21, and her third book, Venetian Masters, a travel memoir, was published in early 2008. In between these books she built a career as an arts critic and current affairs commentator in print, radio and television. She was a contributing editor of the feminist magazine Sibyl and the arts magazines 2nd Generation and Stealth Corporation. She writes regularly for The Guardian and often appears on BBC Two's Newsnight Review, BBC Radio 4's Saturday Review and Front Row.
From 2008 she presented Radio 3's flagship arts programme, Night Waves, and the World Service books programme, The Word. She is now the presenter of various documentary series for Radio 4, Radio 3 and the World Service, including Archive on Four, The English Revolution and Heart and Soul. She has also been the guest presenter of Woman's Hour and Saturday Review.
As well as having a weekly column in The Guardian she also writes for the Financial Times, Mslexia, The F Word, The Observer and The New Statesman. She was one of the judges for the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction and one of the judges of the 2010 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. She was on the committee for World Book Night 2011. Bidisha currently presents the World Service arts programme, The Strand, as well as various documentaries and series for Radio 3, Radio 4 and the World Service.
Her site can be found at http://www.bidisha-online.blogspot.com