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The Almond Tree

The Almond Tree

Author(s): Michelle Cohen Corosanti

Location(s): Palestine

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Modern



This beautifully written and compelling novel is a tale of two Palestinian brothers, one full of anger and hate, the other trying to build a bridge through scientific endeavour. The book vividly brings to life the everyday experiences of Palestinians displaced by the Israeli occupation. The first person narrative draws the reader into the story of a twelve-year-old boy, Ichmad, whose life is about to be turned upside down. With his father imprisoned, his family’s home and possessions confiscated, and his siblings quickly succumbing to anger and hatred in the face of war, Ichmad begins his endless struggle to save his poor and dying family, and to reclaim a love for others that was lost when the bombs first hit. Ichmad supports his family through manual labour, first on a building site and later in an abattoir. Eventually his brilliance in science wins him a scholarship to university, where he encounters both prejudice and opportunity. His brother disowns him as he mixes with Israelis, and even marries a Jewish girl, but against all the odds, and in the face of personal tragedy, Ichmad succeeds in transcending racial and religious stereotypes, and is judged on his abilities and ideas, to the point where he receives the ultimate accolade: a Nobel Prize. The publication of this novel is timely, given the prominence of the Middle East crisis in the news every day and its effects on the lives of people all over the world. Reminiscent of The Kite Runner and One Thousand Splendid Suns, this is an uplifting read, which conveys a message of optimism and hope.

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Lead Review

…beautifully written and exhibits an inherent knowledge of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza. Corasanti’s elaboration of history and fiction has created a touching narration which ensnares the reader from the first...

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition! Entries close 6th November

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media