After years away from her family's homeland, and reeling from a disastrous love affair, actress Sonia Nasir returns to Haifa to visit her older sister Haneen. While Haneen made a life here commuting to Tel Aviv to teach at the university, Sonia remained in London to focus on her acting career and now dissolute marriage. On her return, she finds her relationship to Palestine is fragile, both bone-deep and new.
When Sonia meets the charismatic and candid Mariam, a local director, she joins a production of Hamlet in the West Bank. Soon, Sonia is rehearsing Gertrude's lines in classical Arabic with a dedicated group of men who, in spite of competing egos and priorities, all want to bring Shakespeare to that side of the wall. As opening night draws closer and the warring intensifies, it becomes clear just how many obstacles stand before the troupe. Amidst it all, the life Sonia once knew starts to give way to the daunting, exhilarating possibility of finding a new self in her ancestral home.
Timely, thoughtful, and passionate, Isabella Hammad's highly anticipated second novel is an exquisite story of the connection to be found in family and shared resistance.
A powerful new novel... Hammad is a pretty flawless writer who, despite her harrowing and often intellectually complex subject matter, produces easily readable, human, generous work. ― The Times
Beautifully written, poignant yet forceful, thoughtful and thought provoking, but above all challenging the reader to respond to the question facing the characters in the novel: how to live under occupation while preserving your dignity and humanity? Hammad answers this question through taking us into the hearts and minds of the characters in the novel and through that into the heart and mind of Palestine. -- Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
Enter Ghost is a masterful, deeply convincing portrait of the all-too-real consequences of political theater - in both senses. A moving and important novel that presses upon the urgent question of how we ought to live in the midst of the rubble (and ongoing chaos) of political crisis. -- Namwali Serpell, author of The Old Drift
A magnificent, deeply imagined story... a thought-provoking, engrossing story about the connections to be found in art, politics and family life. ― Sunday Times
Outstanding. Next-level. Aesthetically, intellectually, emotionally and culturally satisfying. It is astonishing but true that Isabella Hammad is incapable of striking a false note. She immerses her heroine in volatile territory with the accuracy, compassion and coolness of a surgical knife sliding into a diseased body. The result is a stunning beauty - an eye-opening, uplifting novel that grants its vulnerable cast and their endeavors a rare and graceful dignity. -- Leila Aboulela, author of Minaret
A richly layered novel... [Hammad] takes her time, writing with an elegant, confident poise and accumulation of detail this is refreshingly unfashionable. ― Observer
A stirring novel and a tribute to those Palestinians who have attempted, and attempt, to make art despite the forces ranged against them. ― Times Literary Supplement
Powerful... Enter Ghost is a remarkable work by a novelist who writes about Palestinians with the same love and exasperation that one might feel towards one's family. ― Literary Review
[A] soul-stirring and dramatic tale of a Palestinian family's exile and reconciliation ... The layered text, rich in languages and literary references, dives deep into Sonia's consciousness, illustrating her hopes for what art can accomplish. This deeply human work will stay with readers. ― Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*