Michelle Cohen Corasanti

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Michelle Cohen Corasanti

Goodreads Author

in Utica, NY, The United States



Member Since
October 2012


Follow The Almond Tree

Michelle Cohen Corasanti grew up in a Jewish home in which German cars were boycotted and Israeli bonds were plentiful. Other than the blue-and-white tin Jewish National Fund sedakah box her family kept in the kitchen and the money they would give to plant trees in Israel, all she learned growing up was that after the Holocaust, the Jews found a land without a people for a people without a land and made the desert bloom.

Until third grade, Michelle attended public school and then she transferred to the Hillel Yeshiva. The greatest lesson Michelle feels she learned at this Yeshiva was articulated by Rabbi Hillel (30BC-10AD), one of the greatest rabbis of the Talmudic era in his famous quote, “That wh

Interview with Ahmad Abu Hussein about The Almond Tree


المربي احمد فوزي ابو حسين

اللغوية بين اللغتين الانجليزية والعربية ، وحصل على لقب الشرف وشهادة تقدير من كلية القاسمي وبلدية باقة الغربية - موقعة من الشاعر الراحل سميح القاسم ، وهو ساهم وساعد في تحضير رواية " شجرة اللوز " التي كتبتها ميشيل كوهين كوارسنتي ، وبها تثير قضايا وحال المجتمع العربي في اسرائيل ... أبو حسين يتحدث في هذا التقرير عن خلفية اصدار هذه الروا... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on November 02, 2015 06:52 Tags: ahmad-abu-hussein, interview
Average rating: 4.12 · 4,991 ratings · 2,059 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Almond Tree

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Michelle Corasanti made a comment on her profile
" I am The Almond Tree : At age sixteen, I wanted nothing more than to leave my home in Utica, New York for some place, any place that would offer freed ...more "
" I'm about to finish my next one soon I hope. "
"http://ipshitamitra.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/in-conversation-with-michelle-cohen-corasanti/ The following interview with author Michelle Cohen Corasanti was published in Times of India (Online) Book: The Almond Tree Author: Michelle Cohen Coras..." Read more of this blog post »
“Sometimes thou seem'st not as thyself alone, But as the meaning of all things that are.”
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
More of Michelle's books…
“You cannot go back and make a new start, but you can start now and make a new ending”
Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree

“Hatred is self-punishment. Do you think they're feeling bad because you hate them?”
Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree

“Good things make choosing difficult.Bad things leave no choice”
Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree

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Around the World ...: dely - frequent flyer 36 103 Dec 30, 2012 09:34AM  
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“Good things make choosing difficult.Bad things leave no choice”
Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree

“Many great men can attribute their success to the fact that they didn't have the advantages other men had”
Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree

“The hardest part for us was watching them harvest our Shamouti oranges.Those were our favourites, thick skinned, seedless and juicy.When the wind was strong, the scent of their blossoms in the spring and their fruit in the summer still reached us.”
Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree

“Permission to buy apricots and oranges from my own trees, the ones my great grandfather planted and i kept alive in drought and war”
Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree

“You cannot go back and make a new start, but you can start now and make a new ending”
Michelle Cohen Corasanti, The Almond Tree

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message 20: by Vikii

Vikii Chambers Dear Michelle,

A while ago, I had the pleasure of reading your book The Almond Tree. It was by far the best book I have read in years!
I look forward to reading another one of your books.

Best wishes,


Michelle Corasanti This is the story of a young Palestinian boy who makes a mark in this world with his intelligence and resilience. Even with the army throwing obstacles along his entire path, Ichmad manages to get himself and his family into a better future.


Michelle Corasanti I am The Almond Tree : At age sixteen, I wanted nothing more than to leave my home in Utica, New York for some place, any place that would offer freedom and adventure. My parents, liberal, strongly Zionist Jews, were more than protective; the line between mothering and smothering, had become intolerable. Finally they agreed to send me to Israel to study Judaism and Hebrew with our rabbi’s perfectly well behaved and obedient daughter Miriam. I was sixteen-years-old and it was the summer of 1982.

Read Full blog here : https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

Michelle Corasanti Moe Diab is bringing Dr. Ahmed Hamid from the Almond Tree to life. Please check out Dr. Hamid's website. Book groups interested in a complimentary book discussion via Skype can sign up with Dr Hamid.


Michelle Corasanti Worldwide success forThe Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Sunday, June 02, 2013 12:32
Following huge success in the English speaking market, the Pontas Literary Agency has announced that The Almond Tree by first-time author Michelle Cohen Corasanti (published by Garnet Publishing in October 2012) will now also be available in Spanish, Catalan, and Norwegian.
Norwegian rights to The Almond Tree have just been acquired by Schibsted Forlag, the Norwegian publishers of well-known authors such as Khaled Hosseini, Kate Morton and Victoria Hislop. Editor Inger Marit Hansen said:
'We have read The Almond Tree and we simply love it! It’s such a beautiful and strong story - and it made me cry several times. We will do our best to make sure that this beautiful novel gets all the readers it deserves.'
Shortly before the 2013 London Book Fair, world Spanish rights to the book were sold at auction to Ediciones B, one of the five largest Spanish language publishers, who also has a strong presence in Latin America. They will publish The Almond Tree under their literary imprint Bruguera, which publishes a range of renowned UK and US authors such as Lisa See and P. D. James. Carol París, Foreign Fiction Editor for Ediciones B, commented:
'It has been a long time since a book struck me so hard. (…) It is an honest novel. There is no death or tragedy in it that leaves you indifferent or that comes across as sensationalist. (…) I felt captured from the first moment by her voice and her style. It is an honest story, exciting, with touching moments… It addresses a subject which is always present. A novel that shows pain, but also hope.'
Simultaneously, Catalan rights for The Almond Tree were sold to Amsterdam Llibres, an independently owned imprint of Ara Llibres. This imprint publishes a very varied list from literary to commercial, and includes Khaled Hosseini amongst its stable of successful authors. Commenting on the acquisition, Izaskun Arretxe, Editor and Director of Ara Llibres, said:
'Last night I could hardly sleep. I am excited. From the first 50 pages I knew that I wanted topublish the novel in our Amsterdam imprint. (…) I really loved it, it had me gripped, it made me cry (more than laugh), it made me think and, in a way, it transformed me, which is what I ask most of in a book. Yes, yes, yes, we want to publish it!'

The Almond Tree is the story of a young Palestinian, Ichmad, who is gifted with a mind that continues to impress the elders in his village, and who struggles with the knowledge that he can do nothing to save his friends and family. Living on occupied land, his entire village operates in constant fear of losing their homes, jobs, and belongings. More importantly, they fear losing each other.
On Ichmad’s twelfth birthday, that fear becomes reality. With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to hatred in the face of conflict, Ichmad begins an inspiring journey using his intellect to save his poor and dying family. In doing so he reclaims a love for others that was lost through a childhood rife with violence, and discovers a new hope for the future.
Since its publication in October 2012, the book has received glowing reviews both in the UK and the USA:
‘A story that grabs you from the first page and makes your heart go out to the Palestinians without pointing fingers at anyone.’Guillermo Fesser, Huffington Post.
‘The Almond Tree, intelligent, never over stated and written with love, informs and educates – it reminds us that there could be a better way to share this land and that if you allow intellect to blossom only good will come from it.’ Sam Hawksmoor, Hackwriters.
‘Corasanti’s accomplished debut novel offers a humanistic look into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…Sensitive, moving and competently written; a complex novel as necessary as ever.’ ”Kirkus Reviews”.
‘With the onset of adulthood, one already must cope with so much. The Almond Tree follows the struggles of young Ichmad Hamid as his family is lost to strife, imprisonment, and everything they hold dear. The twelve year old learns it may be on him to use his limited talents to help his family and bring back something of a life. The Almond Tree is a strong addition to coming of age fiction collections, highly recommended.’The Midwest Book Review.
Pontas Literary agency reports that a number of other foreign editors are currently considering the novel, and they are confident that more foreign rights deals will follow. Pontas is also taking the project to next week’s Cannes Film Market, in the hope of attracting a film rights deal for the novel.

Michelle Cohen Corasanti is a Jewish American writer who has lived in France, Spain, Egypt and England, and spent seven years living in Israel. She currently lives in New York with her family.
For more information please visit www.garnetpublishing.co.uk/book/almon...

Michelle Corasanti Check out my new book trailer.


Michelle Corasanti Here is the link to our February 2013 issue (Vol.1, No.1) of Lakeview. You can download it as a pdf file from issuu.com if you like.

Check out this interview with me. Jose did a great job.
Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts


A journal that features creative work by internationally accalimed and

message 10: by Shruthi

Shruthi Bandyadka Thank you so very much for the copy of 'the almond tree'. I am almost done reading it. I usually read on my way to college and on my way back. This book captivated me so much so that I missed my stop and had to hail another bus to travel back to my college. The moment i finish this book I am going to write a very long review. This is coming from a person who is never compelled to write one.
Thank you Michelle Corasanti :)

Teressa Thanks so much for my copy of The Almond Tree, it was brilliant. I can't wait for your next book :)

Michelle Corasanti http://youtu.be/z5qJAhFgbQw

Here's the book trailer my publisher Garnet made.

Michelle Corasanti http://youtu.be/BWGySjd88kM

Here's a book trailer with me giving a little insight into the writing of The Almond Tree.

Michelle Corasanti http://youtu.be/cvXat3RyaA8

Here's my book trailer with images from the story.

Michelle Corasanti Dear Lucinda,

Thank you so very much for your kind words. I hope one day we can all focus on our commonalities and advance humanity. If I can even make a ripple toward peace, I will have succeeded. No one is free unless we all our free.


Lucinda Dear Michelle,
I would like to thank you for being my friend here on GoodReads. I am so pleased to have had the oportunity of reading your wonderful book, as it truly is something quite special - so thank you!
Kind Regards
Lucinda x

Michelle Corasanti Check out NEW YORK POST Page 6 Today 12/2/12 on page 14. It says

We hear...That Michelle Cohen Corasanti launched her novel, "The Almond Tree," at Egyptian restaurant Casa La Femme. Corasanti who holds an M.A. from Harvard University in Middle Eastern studies, was joined by Gilbert Gottfried and others...

Michelle Corasanti Press from my book launch party November 27, 2012 at Casa La Femme in NYC.

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Michelle Corasanti A graphic account of Israel-inflicted violence in and around Gaza, told by a Jewish American.

The Almond Tree By Michelle Cohen Corasanthi Publisher: Garnet. Price: Rs 735

With the Palestine-Israel conflict flaring up once again and a chunk of Gaza reduced to near-rubble status, Michelle Cohen Corasanti’s debut book The Almond Tree, launched in the US last month, focuses attention once again on the Palestine-Israel conflict.

The story, related by Ichmad Hamid, a Palestinian boy, is about the unimaginable sufferings of his large family, staying on occupied land. It begins with Israeli soldiers throwing the family out of their home, fencing their land with abundant orange groves, and shunting them to a mud-hut smaller than “our chicken coop”. The only saving grace of their new home is an almond tree from which Ichamd, then 9, and his younger brother Abbas, can see the entire village with the telescope the gifted Ichmad has made.

With their orange groves gone, his father — Baba — a pacifist, has to find work with the Israelis. To his horrified family, he explains how even Israeli soldiers can be good. “They are bad, good, scared, greedy, moral, immoral, kind, mean — they’re human beings like us. Who knows what they might be if they were not soldiers? This is politics.”

But Baba with his liberal views is implicated in a crime he didn’t commit and imprisoned for 14 years. As he is taken away, “my family’s wails, as we huddled together, penetrated my bones. I willed myself dead in Baba’s place and knew that I’d never be happy again,” thinks the child.

A good portion of the book is devoted to the back-breaking physical labour 12-year-old Ichmad and Abbas have to do to save their family from starvation. But one crisis follows another — Abbas is crippled when deliberately pushed at the construction site where the two boys are working.

A chill penetrates our bones as we go through a vivid, graphic account of how Palestinians like Ichmad are treated by Israeli soldiers at check posts and other places. While visiting Baba in prison, he is stripped. “The guard pulled my buttocks apart and I gasped with pain as the instrument penetrated my rectum. I held my breath. When the instrument scraped my insides, my eyes watered. It was all I could do to keep from whimpering. My ears popped when the guard finally removed it.”

Michelle’s book has been compared to Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner, but reading the excruciating pain and sorrow he is subjected to, Ichmad reminds me of Mariam, the protagonist of Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. But unlike Mariam, Ichmad is headed for better times; he is brilliant at math and the village teacher insists he participate in a math competition. To keep his promise to Baba that he would not “get sucked into this struggle” and make something of his life, he does, is selected, and never looks back.

His brilliance in math and Physics takes Ichmad to academic heights and he ends up collaborating with his Israeli teacher, Professor Sharon, who first tries to “fix” him, but later recognises his talent and opens doors for him.

But this only horrifies Abbas, who hates the Jews and warns Ichmad not to “be seduced by the devil” and fill his head with “phony ideas like equality and friendship”.

When Ichmad finally accepts the offer of a post-doc at MIT in America — a country that is helping Israel in the war against Palestinians — and falls in love with Nora, a Jew, Abbas disowns him. The rest of the book is about one brother climbing the summit of success and prosperity in the western world, and the other getting sucked into the Palestinian cause.

All his life, Ichmad sends whatever money he makes — from his student’s stipend to his generous salary later — home, and feels he has done well by his family. But, when he finally goes to Gaza to meet Abbas, for which permission is got only with the help of Prof Sharon, and sees the havoc wreaked there by Israeli bombs and missiles, does he realise that he has failed his people. Michelle’s graphic description churns your insides and holds a mirror to what must have happened during the fresh outbreak of violence.

The prose is as evocative as powerful. All over Gaza, Ichmad sees unpainted cinderblock structures with “giant gaping holes. Plastic covered most of the windows. Out in the rain, the streets were packed with wet people of all ages, dilapidated vehicles and donkey-pulled carts. Broken TVs, water heaters, cables and bent iron rods protruded from more piles of rubble. Abandoned sniper towers were on every corner. Barefoot children sloshed in mud.”

When he fails to find the extensive orange groves of Gaza that Baba had said “infused the air with a sweet sense”, the taxi driver’s scathing reply to his query is: “Israel uprooted the trees, you can imagine what a threat to their security the trees must have posed: an orange must have dropped onto one of their tanks.”

Even the waves sound angry in his palatial hotel and its owner asks him: “Do you know anyone who is interested in purchasing a five-star hotel in a prison?”

The ultimate debate he has with Abbas, now a Hamas leader, is searing. When Ichmad asks him why the peace Israel offered at Oslo wasn’t accepted, a bitter Abbas says: “Peace wasn’t offered. Israel wanted to rule us land, sea and air, create an open-air prison… Do you really think they did all this just to stop a few homemade missiles? They want to kill our hopes and dreams, destroy our humanity.”

The truth, he adds, is that Israel had turned a hard-working, proud and resourceful people into a “nation of beggars.”

But the book also holds out hope for a better future for Palestinians. Giving this hope is the almond tree all through the narrative. The book ends with the tree being in full bloom well before its time.



(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 30, 2012)

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