After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives

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Overview

A searing portrait of Palestinian life and identity that is at once an exploration of Edward Said's unclaimable past and a testimony to the lives of those living in exile.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

The Nation

When Said shows us the Palestinian experience min al-dakhil, from the inside, he means not the inside of the place, but the inside of the mind. Palestine becomes a state of mind. And that is what makes the book so exceptional. It is an extended voyage through the mind of exile.

Jerusalem Post

The power and magic of [Said and Mohr's] collective statement lies in this--no matter how displaced or dispossessed, a decisive border separates the native and the tourist.

The Guardian

A very personal text, and a very moving one, about an internal struggle: the anguish of living with displacement, with exile.... The most beautiful piece of prose... about what it means to be a Palestinian.

Guardian
A very personal text, and a very moving one, about an internal struggle: the anguish of living with displacement, with exile. . . . The most beautiful piece of prose . . . about what it means to be a Palestinian.
Nation
When Said shows us the Palestinian experience min al-dakhil, from the inside, he means not the inside of the place, but the inside of the mind. Palestine becomes a state of mind. And that is what makes the book so exceptional. It is an extended voyage through the mind of exile.
New York Times Book Review
Said writes to the photos so assiduously and with such effect as to make one powerful essay.
Jerusalem Post
The power and magic of [Said and Mohr's] collective statement lies in this­­no matter how displaced or dispossessed, a decisive border separates the native and the tourist.
Library Journal
The theme of this book is exile, expressed through the striking photographs of a people held in a state of transience and impermanence. While the photographs rivet the reader's attention, Said (English and Comparative Literature, Columbia) puts their pain and dislocation into words. The photos show the Palestinians within a landscape, but somehow, isolated, reflecting Said's conclusion that ``exile is a series of portraits, without names, without contexts.'' What is the Palestinian contexthow can Palestinians even know they existwhen the past decades have seen only transition, a loss of boundaries, a denial of identities? The interplay of text and photos makes a powerful statement and reflects Said's poetic skills. Highly recommended for readers seeking the faces and feelings behind the headlines. Elizabeth R. Hayford, President, Associated Colls. of the Midwest, Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231114493
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 7/7/1999
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 938,508
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Jerusalem in 1935, Edward W. Said was one of the world's most celebrated, outspoken, and influential public intellectuals until his death on September 24, 2003. He is the author of more than twenty books that have been translated into thirty-six languages, including Beginnings (1975); The Question of Palestine (1979); the internationally acclaimed Orientalism (1979); Covering Islam (1980); The World, the Text, and the Critic (1983); After the Last Sky (1986); Musical Elaborations (1991); Culture and Imperialism (1993); Out of Place: A Memoir (1999); Reflections on Exile and Other Essays (2001); Power, Politics, and Culture (2001); and Freud and the Non-European (2003). He began teaching at Columbia University in 1963 and became University Professor of English and Comparative Literature there in 1992. He was a past president of the Modern Language Association and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Royal Society of Literature, and the American Philosophical Society. Said was the recipient of numerous prizes and distinctions--including twenty honorary doctorates--and he was first U.S. citizen to receive the prestigious Sultan Owais Prize.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface to The 1999 Edition vii
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction: Palestinian Lives 3
1 States 11
2 Interiors 51
3 Emergence 87
4 Past and Future 127
Postscript: The Fall of Beirut 168
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2003

    Visual Poetry

    Initially, I did not think that a book written in the mid-1980s would be a useful in the fast-changing topic of the Middle East. This was written before the Oslo peace process and before the first Palestinian Intifada, remember. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find this gem in the library. Visual poetry is the best description I can think of ¿ beautiful photos from the lens of the Swiss master Jean Mohr document Palestinian reality on every page. The photographic narrative is intertwined with a poetic elaboration by Edward Said (in my opinion the best I¿ve seen of his writing). So much information is there, but also so much is left unsaid ¿ for us readers to think about and visualize. Though some of the events in Middle East history may appear absurd, after reading this book it all starts to fit together and make sense. Even events taking place afterwards like the Intifada makes sense after understand the context the this book paints with such wonderful clarity. More books like this are desperately needed!

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