Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Book review : Shatila Stories

The introduction to the book explains the novel concept behind its creation : Pereine editor and publisher Meike brought together nine refugees from the notorious Shatila refugee camp in Beirut to write a piece of collaborative fiction that gives a great insight into life (and death) in the camp. 

Middle Eastern politics and the complicated history of the Palestinians is often hard to understand fully and the book gives a poignant insiders' view of the hardships and dangers within the overcrowded camps. The overlapping stories give a sense of community but also claustrophobia, revealing a lack of privacy and tensions between the different groups forced to live together. All of the refugees have a hard life, but the women are particularly badly treated and undervalued, forced to follow the traditions of arranged marriage and often dealing with domestic abuse on a daily basis.

As with all of Pereine's titles, it's a short book but it packs a punch with haunting tales that will stay with you for a long time after you've turned the final page. If that's not a good enough reason to buy a copy, 50p from the sale of all Peirene books, and all the profits made from the sale of Shatila Stories, will go to support refugees in nine camps throughout Lebanon and Turkey.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £12

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Peirene Press Ltd (18 Jun. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908670487
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908670489

Disclosure : I received a review copy.


  1. Good that money goes to good causes

    1. Forgot to add my name

  2. It's good they give some of the profits to the refugees, though maybe a bigger percent would be better. Every time I read about the refugees, I think "Here by the grace of God..." They must feel so powerless, so vulnerable.

  3. Sounds interesting, thanks for sharing.

  4. this sounds like an interesting read.


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