Out of It, Bloomsbury, (2012)
“An original and vivid voice. Full of energy, this is a new and welcome take on the Palestinian story.” AHDAF SOUEIF
From the back cover:
Gaza is being bombed. After spending the night getting stoned watching it happen, Rashid gets the escape route he’s been waiting for: a scholarship to London. His sister, Iman – frustrated by atrocities and inaction around her – has also been up all night, in a meeting that offers her nothing but more frustration. Grabbing at an opportunity to make a difference, she finds herself being followed by an unknown fighter. Meanwhile Sabri, the oldest brother of this disparate family, works on a history of Palestine from his wheelchair as their mother feuds with their neighbours.
Written with extraordinary humanity and humour, and moving between Gaza, London and the Gulf, Out of It is a tale that redefines Palestine and its people. It follows the lives of Rashid and Iman as they try to forge paths for themselves in the midst of occupation, religious fundamentalism and the divisions between Palestinian factions. It tells of family secrets, unlikely love stories and unburied tragedies as it captures the frustrations and energies of the modern Arab world.
The Arabic edition Gaza Taht IlJild (Gaza Under The Skin) translated by Khulood Amr was published by BQFP in August 2015.
‘Takes us into the lives and feelings of those who live in Gaza and want ordinary lives.’ Marina Warner, Guardian Book of the Year 2012.
We Are Here Now, Saffron Fawkes’ Expat Story.
(Working Title) Novel in Progress. Anticipated / hopeful date for publication by the end of 2016. Submission for publication by the end of 2015.
To whom does the internationally nomadic owe a duty to in society? Saffron Fawkes, the second generation expat wife to Oz (aka Osama), wants to leave this question on hold as she berates the moral ambivalence of her neighbours in the compound where she lives and turns a blind eye to the place where she lives. She distracts herself with shopping and dreaming of the next country where her life will undoubtably be resolved. It takes the arrival of Cal, her husband’s 17 year old son from a previous relationship, from the London council estate where he grew up, to bring her out and force her to interact with the world outside.
We Are Here Now is set in a fictional country that merges existent realities. It is inspired by novels of closed, privileged environments like JG Ballard’s Super Cannes.
British Council Grant
In August 2013, Selma Dabbagh was one of the five international writers to be awarded a grant by the British Council to help support the writing of We Are Here Now. The awards were announced at the World Writer’s Festival in Edinburgh.
Arts Council Grant
In March 2014, an Arts Council Grant was awarded by the Arts Council England to Selma Dabbagh to support the writing of this novel.
Santa Maddalena Writers’ Retreat
In May 2014 Selma Dabbagh took up a fellowship to attend Santa Maddalena Writers’ Retreat outside Florence, where she finished the first draft of this novel.
Port Cetate, Retreat, Nr. Craiova, Romania
Introduced to this wonderful place by the Free Word Centre in London I completed a re-draft of this novel in August 2015.