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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for Palestine Book Award.

Bloomsbury presents Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa, read by Susan Abulhawa.  

Nahr has been confined to the Cube: nine square metres of glossy grey cinderblock, devoid of time, its patterns of light and dark nothing to do with day and night. Journalists visit her, but get nowhere; because Nahr is not going to share her story with them.    

The world outside calls Nahr a terrorist and a whore; some might call her a revolutionary, or a hero. But the truth is, Nahr has always been many things and had many names.    

She was a girl who learned, early and painfully, that when you are a second class citizen love is a kind of desperation; she learned, above all else, to survive.    

She was a girl who went to Palestine in the wrong shoes and without looking for it found what she had always lacked in the basement of a battered beauty parlour: purpose, politics, friends. She found a dark-eyed man called Bilal, who taught her to resist; who tried to save her when it was already too late.    

Nahr sits in the Cube and tells her story to Bilal. Bilal, who isn’t there; Bilal, who may not even be alive, but who is her only reason to get out.

©2020 Susan Abulhawa (P)2020 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"A thrilling, defiant novel." (Fatima Bhutto)

"A masterpiece." (Marc Lamont Hill)

''Wonderful.... Shines a ray of hope into some very dark places." (Michael Palin)

What listeners say about Against the Loveless World

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memorable and timely

loved it. a must read to improve visibility of issues that have plagued the world for decades. we must find a solution to break the cycle. beautiful characters and love throughout the book. best read this year.

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  • Kez
  • 17-03-2021

Brilliant!

This booked moved me in so many ways opening up my mind eyes to another world to which we are sheltered from. Truly amazing!

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Beautifully written

Against the Loveless World is a brutal and heart-breaking read. Despite this, Susan Abulhawa creates space for beauty, family and love to shine. Her nature and food writing is exquisite and provided an aching backdrop to the horror and trauma of Nahr's story.

I struggled a little with the narration - mostly the awkwardness and overacted voices of characters other than Nahr. The issues I had, however, were offset by the author reading her own work. Nahr's passion, sadness and spirit were beautifully rendered by the author's reading.

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  • Radha Unnikrishnan
  • 29-09-2020

Fantastic Book

I loved the story and the narration.could not put it down towards the end .

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  • Eszter Pos
  • 21-09-2020

Touching and shocking like no other

As before with Abulhawa's writings, this novel is one of the most touching and moving piece of her. It's unstoppable and it generates such powerful emotions as I have rarely felt. I wish all would read / listen to it and would go through at least in imagination of these feelings.

Powerful and honest account and record that needs to be heard in the world.

Special to listen to it on the author's voice. Thank you.

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