- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Unlikely Settler, The Hardcover – 6 Mar 2014
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'The unlikely settler is the author of this distinctive memoir, a Bengali journalist and filmmaker married to a Jewish Englishman active in the peace movement in Jerusalem, where they live, and where their marriage and family are exposed to all the schisms and pressures that that environment implies. Pelham capably describes the schizophrenic atmosphere of today s Israel/Palestine, the Kafkaesque dynamics of life for the Palestinians, the dramatic political divisions within the Israeli community, the frequent need to disguise one's identity, and the tortured logic of what one can do or say, or the language in which to say it. And it is in this crucible that the intrinsic fissures in the author s marriage, not only the ethnic and religious, but also the quotidian conflicts about work and child raising, split wide open. This is an honest book, the implicit message being that it is no easier to assign responsibility within a relationship than to navigate toward a peace to which Pelham s husband, Leo, devotes his working life. The Unlikely Settler is, well, unsettling.' - Mark Levine
'Personal drama and inner conflicts are intertwined naturally with the dramas and conflicts of the outside world in this emotionally moving memoir.' - Zeruya Shalev, author of Thera and Husband and Wife
'It's fascinating and refreshing to see everyday life in Jerusalem through the sharp, affectionate eyes of Lipika Pelham as she encounters and befriends zionists, ulra orthodox Haredis, Arab Jews, left wing intellectuals, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, Bedouins, Christians, expatriates and international peace-keepers in this city of warring sides and emotional flare-ups. It helps to understand the complexities of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.' - Claudia Roden, author of The Book of Jewish Food
'[D]istinctive... The Unlikely Settler is, well, unsettling.' - BookList
'A touching personal delineation of divided loyalties and riven hearts.' - --Kirkus
About the Author
Lipika Pelham was born and raised on the border between Bangladesh and India, and in the past twenty years has lived in England, Morocco, Jordan, and Israel. In her early twenties she joined the BBC World Service and reported from India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Morocco, and Israel. In 2005 Lipika moved with her family to Jerusalem, where she became a documentary filmmaker, winning among other prizes the prestigious Centre Méditerranéen de la Communication Audiovisuelle Prix Spécial du Jury in 2010.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
They are united by both their love of their children and their love of the city, but those are also the things that push them apart. If this were fiction you'd say the city/relationship parallel was glib, as it is, it is utterly compelling and heart-breaking in equal measure. Played out against a backdrop of forensically well observed Middle-Eastern politics, this is a very contemporary love story.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
She mentions that all the expatriates in Jerusalem ―who work in NGO's working to achieve a peace based on their own prejudices and view points and lack of historical knowledge―refuse to have anything to do with normal Israeli people, except ultra leftists anti-Zionists. Her circle is basically the same, only Palestinians and anti-Israel Jews. She has two close friends, one a Jewish lawyer and the other her Palestinian client. The two women live together, until the Palestinian gets fed up with what she calls her Jewish lawyer friend "all night having sex with her Palestinian clients".
Interesting that both women found marital bliss, one in the States and the other in Canada.
There is one glaring omission. Almost, at the end of the book, they are given a one month visa before being deported, but in the next chapter, which takes place many months later, they are still living in Jerusalem. There is no explanation about this.
To summarize, the book is interesting, more for what it says about the two main characters, husband and wife (she is, almost at the end of the book, found naked and drunk in a strange man's apartment) than for any insight that these people may have about a region where they spent several years.
It did help me understand some of the international and interpersonal conflicts in the Middle East.