Mining stories of her great-grandfather to paint a picture of pre-WWII Palestine

The Parisian, which runs to more than 550 pages, covers events from the start of World War I in 1914 to the 1936 Arab uprising in Palestine.
The Parisian, which runs to more than 550 pages, covers events from the start of World War I in 1914 to the 1936 Arab uprising in Palestine.PHOTO: JONATHAN CAPE

SINGAPORE - British-Palestinian writer Isabella Hammad grew up on stories of her great-grandfather, a Palestinian merchant who was obsessed with France, where he had studied. In Nablus, the city between two mountains north of Jerusalem, people called him "al-Barisi", the Parisian.

"These stories captured my imagination when I was a child," says Hammad, now 28. "When I was a teenager, I thought it would be quite a great novel."

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