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Songs for the Dead and the Living - Sara M Saleh

Songs for the Dead and the Living

By: Sara M Saleh

Paperback | 29 August 2023

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When the ground beneath your feet is always shifting, how can you ever know where you belong?

Jamilah has always believed she knows where her home is: in a house above a paint shop on the outskirts of Beirut, with her large, chaotic, loving family. But she soon learns that as Palestinian refugees, her family's life in Lebanon is precarious, and they must try to blend in even as they fight to retain their identity. When conflict comes to Beirut, Jamilah's world fractures, and the family is forced to flee to Cairo: another escape, and another slip further away from Palestine, the homeland to which they cannot return. In the end, Jamilah will have to choose between holding on to everything she knows and pursuing a life she can truly call her own.

Songs for the Dead and the Living is a coming-of-age tale played out across generations and continents, from Palestine to Australia. Through stunning prose, acclaimed writer and human-rights activist Sara M Saleh offers a breathtaking portrait of the fragilities and flaws of family in the wake of war, and the love it takes to overcome great loss.

About the Author

Sara M Saleh is an award-winning writer/poet, human rights lawyer, and the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been widely published nationally in English and Arabic. She is co-editor of the groundbreaking 2019 anthology Arab, Australian, Other.

Sara made history as the first poet to win both the Australian Book Review's 2021 Peter Porter Poetry Prize and the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize 2020.

Sara lives on Bidjigal land with her partner and their cats, Cappy & Lola. Songs for the Dead and the Living is her first novel.

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