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Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense

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4.37  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Across Palestine, from the Allenby Bridge and Ramallah, to Jerusalem and Gaza, Marcello Di Cintio has met with writers, poets, librarians, booksellers and readers, finding extraordinary stories in every corner. Stories of how revolutionary writing is smuggled from the Naqab Prison; about what it is like to write with only two hours of electricity each day; and stories from ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Goose Lane Editions
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4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  43 ratings  ·  10 reviews


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Katya Kazbek
Definitely one of the best books I have read and a must for everyone. It serves two very important purposes. First, it gives an exhaustive introduction to Palestine’s literature, from established greats to teenagers posting stories on Facebook. I am very interested in global literatures and it’s hard to find fresh, young writing which hadn’t yet gone through publication at the very least in the native language for someone who can’t read in said language. Now that I know where to look, I can try ...more
Hadeel Othman
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am endlessly grateful to Marcello Di Cinto for this book. As a Palestinian, I tend to avoid reading about Palestine from non-Palestinian writers, because they always focus on the conflict, and often with hostile or condescending overtones. However, Di Cinto does the complete opposite of this, he highlights the diversity of the Palestinian experience, the complex of identities (from Gaza, to West Bank, Israel, etc), the artistic communities, and everyday struggles of the people, and he does it ...more
Jessie Light-Wells
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve read quite a few books about Palestine and the one thing they share is that they are always centered around the current political situation and the fact of the occupation. This book was a beautiful breath of fresh air in that Di Cintio (who has traveled to and written about Palestine for almost 20 years) in this collection introduces readers not to the political details, but to Palestinian artists – poets, writers, librarians and journalists- who are actively reflecting on life in Palestine ...more
Katie Peach
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Pay No Heed to the Rockets is a well written and fascinating book that looks at life in Palestine through Palestinian literature. The author did a great job of discussing different types of literature, as well as a variety of authors whose perspectives on Palestine and what Palestinian literature looks like differ. I like that he had sections dedicated to the West Bank, Gaza, and female writers in Gaza.

This is a must read for anyone interested in the Middle East and Palestine.
Robin Kirk
Marcello Di Cintio begins his new book, Pay no heed to the rockets, with a poem and an image: a girl in a green dress. The poem is “Apology to a Faraway Soldier” by Mourid Barghouti, the eminent Palestinian poet and novelist born near Ramallah and officially stateless since 1967. For Barghouti, “Writing is a displacement—a displacement from the normal social contract—a displacement from the common roads of love and enmity. The poet strives to escape from the dominant, used language—to a language ...more
Lesley
Review originally appeared in Booklist

One of the great tragedies of Palestine is how little most outsiders know of everyday Palestinians. Journalist DiCintio narrows this gap by recounting his nearly 20 years of visits to the West Bank and Gaza, weaving conversations around the writings of Palestine's many literary figures: national poet Mahmoud Darwish, who once performed to a soccer stadium full of fans; martyred revolutionary Ghassan Kanafani; romantic novelist Gharib Asqalani. Literature, hi
...more
Kevin
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canlit
Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense is heavily-researched and back with a lifetime of passion on the area and its people. It reminds me of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Five Broken Cameras in the lens through which it views Palestine. What a way to access stories... THROUGH storytellers. It shouldn't seem revolutionary, but it is. With Marcello Di Cintio's latest, we have a chance to turn down the din of rockets and listen to the poetic voices that make the groun ...more
Neil Gilbert
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Even in the face of stifling oppression life must go on. Whether it’s a cultural struggle or a personal one, we can take notes from the Palestinians on what perseverance and resistance looks like in the face of formidable circumstances.

Living an extraordinary life through the exact undertaking of mundane tasks like making tea under the constant thread of missiles is a calling. This calling is common to all of humanity however most of us are not aware of the missiles and miss the opportunity to
...more
Greg
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Did no finish. Lost interest.
Sam May
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a brilliant book. An interesting take on the lives of the Palestinians, where the focus is not on the violence that they endure on a daily basis. It’s opened my eyes and I want to read more!
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Marcello Di Cintio traveled to West Africa in 1997. He taught biology in a Ghanaian village for three months, then traveled through western and northern Africa for nine months more. Di Cintio’s time in Africa resulted in his first published stories and, eventually, his first book.

In 2003 and 2004, Di Cintio traveled to Iran to discover the connection between Persian poets and traditional wrestlers
...more
“Regardless of the horrors one endures, a true writer always values humanity over revenge and peace over war. "If a writer says that he wants to kill others, the he is not a writer," Asmaa said.” 0 likes
“When I had those small children, I didn't have to go out and meet people. I can create my own mood at home with my children," she said. "It creates balance for me somehow.” 0 likes
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