The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine (Hardcover)
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Staff Reviews

Ehrenreich's important and compassionate book shows the lives of ordinary Palestinian citizens in different West Bank settings in the years leading up to and through Israel's Operation Brother's Keeper and Operation Protective Edge, the 2014 summer war. With sensitivity and journalistic skill he paints a picture of the complex, shifting and tragic realities of life under the occupation. The weeks of protest, tear gas, stun grenades, imprisonments, bureaucratic tangles, even the deaths of loved ones, children and parents, are here. But also here are the moments of love and hope and beauty and pride that can only be gained by living and spending time in a place and with a people trying to live their lives. Contrasted with this, Ehrenreich shows the systematic and rationalized (and sometimes not so rational) grinding and cutting away of this hope by the various strategies and forces of the occupation and settler movements. One is left asking how this can happen to a people even as the answers are shown in plain daylight in the book. 

— From arlo klahr


From an award-winning journalist, a brave and necessary immersion into the everyday struggles of Palestinian life

Over the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages. Along the way he has written major stories for American outlets, including a remarkable New York Times Magazine cover story. Now comes the powerful new work that has always been his ultimate goal, The Way to the Spring.

We are familiar with brave journalists who travel to bleak or war-torn places on a mission to listen and understand, to gather the stories of people suffering from extremes of oppression and want: Katherine Boo, Ryszard Kapuściński, Ted Conover, and Philip Gourevitch among them. Palestine is, by any measure, whatever one's politics, one such place. Ruled by the Israeli military, set upon and harassed constantly by Israeli settlers who admit unapologetically to wanting to drive them from the land, forced to negotiate an ever more elaborate and more suffocating series of fences, checkpoints, and barriers that have sundered home from field, home from home, this is a population whose living conditions are unique, and indeed hard to imagine. In a great act of bravery, empathy and understanding, Ben Ehrenreich, by placing us in the footsteps of ordinary Palestinians and telling their story with surpassing literary power and grace, makes it impossible for us to turn away.

About the Author

Ben Ehrenreich is the author of two novels, Ether and The Suitors. His writing has appeared in Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, and the London Review of Books, among other publications. A recipient of the National Magazine Award, Ehrenreich lives in Los Angeles.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781594205903
ISBN-10: 1594205906
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: June 14th, 2016
Pages: 448
Language: English