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Palestinian novel detailing Israeli atrocity gets International Booker nod

Palestinian author Adania Shibli has been longlisted for the prestigious International Booker Prize for her most recent novel “Minor Detail.”

Shibli was previously known for her intense, surreal prose. Her novel “Touch,” a bildungsroman told from the perspective of a young Palestinian girl, received critical acclaim.

“Minor Detail” is almost a thriller, recounting a historical horror story: the rape and murder of a young Arab Bedouin girl by Israeli soldiers in 1949.

A timeline detailing the true-life incident alternates with that of a fictional young woman in present-day Ramallah who becomes obsessed with the crime, which was revealed decades later in the pages of the Haaretz daily.

Twenty soldiers involved in the 1949 rape and murder were sent to military prison; then-prime minister David Ben Gurion deemed the assault a “horrific atrocity,” according to Haaretz.

Also nominated is “In Memory of Memory” by Russian writer Maria Stepanova, in which a woman recreates the memories of her Jewish family’s survival through a century of persecution following the death of her aunt.

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