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<style>.post-39579 .entry-title{color: }</style>311


Reflections on a Warrior Woman


Reflections on a Warrior Woman

By N. S. Nuseibeh

Hardback, nonfiction, 288 pages, $20, March 2024

Available from the publisher at www.interlinkbooks.com, www.amazon.com, and in Jerusalem from Educational Bookshop.

A Palestinian woman’s dazzling exploration of heritage, gender, and the idea of home. “I may not be brave enough, but somewhere deep inside of me there is, perhaps, the kernel of someone who is.”

That brave someone was the legendary Nusayba bint Ka’ab al Khazrajia, who fought alongside Prophet Muhammad at the dawn of Islam, an ancestor of the author N. S. Nuseibeh. In drawing on Nusayba’s stories, Nuseibeh delves into the experience of being an Arab woman today and in the distant past, which takes her from superheroes and the glorification of violence to the rise of Arab feminism and to what courage looks like in the context of interminable conflict. By seeking to understand her namesake in the context of her own twenty-first-century concerns, Nuseibeh links our current ideas of Muslims and Arabs with their origins, exploring mythmaking and identity, religion and nationhood, feminism and race.

As intimate as they are thoughtful, these linked essays offer a dazzling exploration of heritage, gender, and the idea of home, while also showing how connecting with our history can help us understand ourselves and others today.

  1. S. Nuseibeh is a Palestinian writer and researcher, born and raised in East Jerusalem. Her interests include issues that relate to identity, ethics, inequality, and education. She has previously written for The Atlantic and been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Namesake won the Giles St. Auburn Award—First Prize as a work-in-progress.

Praise for Namesake: Reflections on a Warrior Woman


“A brilliant book … thoughtful, rigorous, fascinating, personal, reflective, all the good things.” Octavia Bright


“The life of Nusayba – a mother, a warrior – becomes the prism through which N. S. Nuseibeh deftly and lyrically reflects the contemporary world back to us, illuminating not only the layers of a physical landscape shaped by empire and colonialism, but of our mental landscapes of myth and story. Probing questions of identity, inheritance, faith, feminism and home, Namesake is a masterful tapestry. It will leave you seeing both self and world with new eyes.” Erica Berry


“N. S. Nuseibeh conjures her diverse identities and interests to create a world that is free and hospitable. English-Palestinian, author-cook, mythologist-feminist, at home in Jerusalem, at work in Oxford, and at play in New York, Nuseibeh confronts the divisive and discriminatory issues that dog our times with a cosmopolitan ethic of justice and equality that seeks to build arguments, rather than to win them … Namesake explores vulnerability, fragility, anxiety, and ambivalence as ways of beautifully coming to terms with the wounds and worries of the world.” Homi K. Bhabha


“A wonderful book about the deep back stories and the tangled histories of N. S. Nuseibeh’s own multiple identities. She is self-deprecating and thoughtful and always interesting, a rare instance of a writer who seems to listen as much as she informs.” Mark Haddon


“Nuseibeh deftly probes a wide range of topics—history, feminism, religion, culture, nostalgia, racism, violence, anxiety, illness and motherhood—in ways that are deeply personal, specific and nuanced … Perhaps most beautifully and importantly, Nuseibeh’s writing demands of her what it asks of her reader: self-examination, honesty and grace. It’s no small thing to achieve in writing something so deeply personal that also graciously extends to others.” Dima Alzayat


“Fascinating, insightful and eye-opening. Namesake taught and entertained me in equal measure with its warmth, originality and vision. I loved how N. S. Nuseibeh seamlessly navigated between the brutally personal and breathtakingly universal, how she wove in such an eclectic and impressive range of voices and ideas.” Violet Moller


“Such a brave, insightful and important book. A collection of essays exploring the author’s Palestinian, Arab, British, Muslim, female, academic and privileged identities through deep thinking and rigorous research while using an ancestor as her touchstone … I learned so much from this book.” Zeba Talkhani

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