In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story (new edition)

“Her memoir is the story of a fascinating woman . . . If it is a truism to say that no one endures such a catastrophe as that of 1948 with anything except great difficulty, it is certainly not always true that special individuals can make something humanly rich and interesting out of such dire stuff.” — Edward Said

Ghada Karmi’s acclaimed memoir relates her childhood in Palestine, the flight to Britain after the catastrophe of 1948, and coming of age in the coffee-bars of Golders Green, the middle-class Jewish quarter in North London. A gentle humor describes the bizarre and sometimes tense realities that mask her life in “Little Tel Aviv” and, later, her struggle, like that of many other women in the late fifties, to get a university grant to study medicine. Ghada’s personal story is set against the continuing crisis in the Middle East. In Search of Fatima reminds us that the only crime the Palestinians committed was to be born in Palestine. Its author, a committed physician, is desperate for the wounds to heal; History, however, refuses to oblige.

“A very timely book in the current political situation… This should serve to remind people just what the big fuss in the Middle East is all about.” — Times Literary Supplement

“In Search of Fatima brings to life more effectively than anything I have read the fears, ambivalence and confusions experienced by Palestinians.” — Women’s Review of Books

“Keenly observed, fierce, honest and yet light of touch.” — Economist

“Ghada Karmi writes simply and poignantly. Here is a story of … exile and dispossession.” — Jewish Chronicle

Ghada Karmi
was born in Jerusalem and trained as a doctor of medicine at Bristol University. She established the first British-Palestinian medical charity in 1972 and was an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs. Her previous books include The Ethnic Health Factfile and Jerusalem Today: What Future for the Peace Process? and, most recently, Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine.

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