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  • Gabby Womack

Minor Detail by Adania Shibli

Format: audiobook via Libby app


ID: Grayscale, blurry image of woman with light skin and dark hair looks directly at the camera. The image is ripped in the middle of her face and to the right of it. In between these rips is a grayscale image of the sand dunes and desert. the author's name, Adania Shibli, and the title of the book, Minor Detail, line the left side of the book vertically. Dimmed copies of the book cover make up the background w/ light gray text: BOOK REVIEW sits across the top

After seeing this book pop up on my timeline quite a lot, I thought I’d add it to my TBR. I didn’t want to read the description too deeply so that I could experience it without influence. However, seeing @carla_is_reading and @satrayreads posts about it made me decide to move this book up in my queue.


This short story is split between 1949 and the present but the parallels are haunting. The first half is based on an actual “incident” when a Palestinian woman was r*ped and killed by Israeli soldiers. Shibli handles the experiences with care despite how painful the content is by not describing every detail of the assaults. I’m grateful for that because I feel like there are a lot of authors who include excruciating information and it feels like rubbing salt into a wound.


The “incident” is the first half of this short book. In the second half, a Palestinian woman learns about it and feels an overwhelming need to learn about the woman who was killed on the date of her birth in 1949. She sets out in search of any information she might find but must travel past borders and walls to reach Jerusalem and other towns for research.While the descriptions of the events on the page don’t seem emotionally charged, I couldn’t help but empathize with the women in part 1 and part 2.


This book will sit with me for a long time. Please take care when reading this book. I did so by taking breaks and while it meant that it took me longer to finish reading it, I felt like I absorbed it better this way.If you don’t know much about the landscape of Palestine & Israel, i.e. the checkpoints & creation of Israel, I highly recommend you read this.


[ID: Grayscale, blurry image of woman with light skin and dark hair looks directly at the camera. The image is ripped in the middle of her face and to the right of it. In between these rips is a grayscale image of the sand dunes and desert. the author's name, Adania Shibli, and the title of the book, Minor Detail, line the left side of the book vertically. Dimmed copies of the book cover make up the background w/ light gray text: BOOK REVIEW sits across the top]

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