By Sahar Khalifeh
Translated by Aida Adib Bamia
The American University in Cairo Press, 2005
Mahfouz medal winner Palestinian author Sahar Khalifeh examines the stark realities in the lives of Palestinian women in The Inheritance.
Through her protagonist, Zeynab, born to an American mother and a Palestinian father, the author illuminates the disorienting experience of living between two worlds, and the search for identity that mirrors the Palestinians own quest for nationhood.
Set against the emotionally charged background of the early 1990s – when the Gulf War and the Oslo Accords fundamentally shifted the political landscape – The Inheritance takes as its subject the fate of young Palestinian women who supported their families for decades working elsewhere in the Middle East.
In vivid prose, Khalifeh traces the disruption caused by the Gulf War on the life of these women, as Zeynab returns to her homeland and tries to adapt to her new life on the West Bank after years spent in Kuwait.
In her previous novels, Sahar Khalifeh has established herself as the premier female novelist of the Palestinian diaspora; with The Inheritance , she breaks new ground in giving voice to these Palestinian women and their return from economic exile.