"In 1996, Barghouti went back to his Palestinian home for the first time since his exile following the Six-Day War in 1967, and wrote a poignant account of the exile's lot in the acclaimed memoir I Saw Ramallah. In 2003, he returned to Ramallah to introduce his Cairo-born son to his Palestinian family.
I Was Born There, I was Born Here traces Barghouti's own life in recent years and in the past - early life in Palestine, expulsion from Cairo, exile to Budapest, marriage to one of Egypt's leading writers and critics (Radwa Ashour), the birth of his son, Tamim, and then the young man's own expulsion from Cairo.
Ranging freely back and forth in time, Barghouti weaves into his account poignant evocations of Palestinian history and daily life. His evocative, composed prose, beautifully rendered in Humphrey Davies' precise and sensitive translation, leads to the surprisingly candid condemnation of the Palestinian authority's leading figures and the astonishing verdict that 'The real disaster that the Palestinians are living through these days is that they've fallen under the control of a bunch of school kids with no teacher.'
Beautifully rendered by the prize-winning translator Humphrey Davies, I Was Born There, I Was Born Here, is destined, like its predecessor, to become a classic."
A special thank you to book club member, Shivalaxmi Arumugham for the suggestion.