Virtual Book Discussion with Librarians and Archivists with Palestine


Thursday, June 25, 2020

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Thursday, June 25th at 7pm

Register for the event here.

Each year, Librarians and Archivists with Palestine hosts “One Book, Many Communities,” an international campaign which invites communities to come together to read and discuss a common book. The 2020 “One Book, Many Communities” title is The Book of Disappearance by Ibtisam Azem, translated from the original Arabic by Sinan Antoon. The Book of Disappearance imagines what would happen if Palestinians in the State of Israel suddenly disappeared without a trace.

Cover of The Book of Disappearance. Title appears over a wet sidewalk after ran and the shadow of a person walking is visiible.

The Interference Archive community will come together for a facilitated discussion of the book with IA volunteer and LAP steering committee member Maggie Schreiner.

Set in modern-day Jaffa and the greater Tel Aviv area, The Book of Disappearance follows Alaa, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and his friend Ariel, a Jewish Israeli. After Alaa disappears, Ariel finds Alaa’s journals. Alaa’s memory of his late grandmother, a survivor of the Nakba, confronts Ariel’s liberal Zionist convictions. Even in his absence, Alaa’s family memories create a dialogue with Ariel as the crisis of the mass disappearance unfolds.

The One Book, Many Communities project draws inspiration from the “one book, one town” idea, wherein people in local communities come together to read and discuss a common book. Librarians and Archivists with Palestine invites readers, librarians, and others to organize gatherings to discuss The Book of Disappearance by Ibtisam Azem. This campaign is designed to introduce readers to the richness of Palestinian literature, and create a broader awareness and understanding of Palestinian history and the struggle for self-determination.

Reading The Book of Disappearance: unfortunately, The Book of Disappearance is not available as an e-book from any of the three NYC public libraries. If you have access to another library, please check their e-book holdings. You can purchase the book from Community Bookstore, and other local booksellers.