Sandy Tolan is the author of Me & Hank and Children of the Stone. As cofounder of Homelands Productions, Tolan has produced dozens of radio documentaries for NPR and PRI. He has also written for more than forty magazines and newspapers. His work has won numerous awards, and he was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and an I. F. Stone Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Award-winning journalist Tolan highlights a friendship forged between a young Palestinian and an Israeli in 1967 and tested for the next 35 years. Read by the author. Simultaneous Bloomsbury hardcover. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The title of this moving, well-crafted book refers to a tree in the backyard of a home in Ramla, Israel. The home is currently owned by Dalia, a Jewish woman whose family of Holocaust survivors emigrated from Bulgaria. But before Israel gained its independence in 1948, the house was owned by the Palestinian family of Bashir, who meets Dalia when he returns to see his family home after the Six-Day War of 1967. Journalist Tolan (Me & Hank) traces the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the parallel personal histories of Dalia and Bashir and their families-all refugees seeking a home. As Tolan takes the story forward, Dalia struggles with her Israeli identity, and Bashir struggles with decades in Israeli prisons for suspected terrorist activities. Those looking for even a symbolic magical solution to that conflict won't find it here: the lemon tree dies in 1998, just as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process stagnates. But as they follow Dalia and Bashir's difficult friendship, readers will experience one of the world's most stubborn conflicts firsthand. 2 maps. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Through broad sweeps of narrative going back and forward in time, Tolan's sensitively told, eminently fair-minded narrative closes with a return to that lemon tree and its promise of reconciliation. Humane and literate--and rather daring in suggesting that the future of the Middle East need not be violent. - Starred Review, Kirkus Tolan weaves together dramatically different perceptions of the conflict and its context and explains how the lemon tree grew to become a powerful symbol of home. - NPR.org A moving story of both grief and hope. - BookPage Moving, well-crafted . . . readers will experience one of the world's most stubborn conflicts firsthand. - Starred Review, Publishers Weekly [Tolan] sensitively describes the tough friendship between Dalia Eshkenazi Landau, the daughter of Romanian Jewish immigrants who settled in Ramla, and Palestinian Bashir Khairi, who in 1967 knocked on her door to look at the house his family lost when it was forced to flee in 1948 . . . Tolan uses the beloved backyard lemon tree to drive home the shared humanity of the successive inhabitants of one home. - Los Angeles Review of Books