O is for Oranges
Ishmael's Oranges by Claire Hajaj
This book has one of my favourite covers. The shades of yellow, green and blue and the way they ombre are so beautiful and I love the font of the title. It's always on my shelf because it's spine brightens up my bookshelf more so than any other book I own.
However my love for this book isn't solely down to it's cover. This is the story of a mixed race Jewish-Arab family, with a Palestinian father and an English Jewish mother. I believe it is loosely based on the experiences of the author Claire Hajaj who has a Palestinian father and Jewish mother. I love this story although it does not have a very happy ending (I hope that's not too much of a spoiler!). I love books about Israel-Palestine and Jewish-Arab relations and I think this is one of my favourite works of fiction that deals with this topic. The father comes from the city of Jaffa, hence the oranges and despite them featuring in the title and being the O in my alphabet, oranges don't play a massive role in the storyline. The story jumps between Palestine and Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon and The UK, and covers a period of around 40 years which makes for a really interesting mixture of settings.
I also think I will do a series on this blog about Israel-Palestine in literature and film and other forms of art, so prepare to see me talk a little more about this book again in the future.