Nadia Eid doesn't know it yet, but she's about to change her life. It's the end of the ‘80s and she hasn’t seen her Palestinian father since he left Montreal years ago to take a job in Egypt, promising to bring her with him. But now she’s twenty-five and he’s missing in action, so she takes matters into her own hands. Booking a short vacation from her boring job and Québecois boyfriend, she calls her father from the Nile Hilton in downtown Cairo. But nothing goes as planned and, stumbling around, Nadia wanders into an art gallery where she meets Manal, a young Egyptian artist who becomes first her guide and then her lover.
Through this unexpected relationship, Nadia rediscovers her roots, her language, and her ambitions, as her father demonstrates the unavoidable destiny of becoming a Philistine – the Arabic word for Palestinian. With Manal’s career poised to take off and her father’s secret life revealed, the First Intifada erupts across the border.
Click here for Sophie Voillot's translation, La Philistine.
SHORTLISTED for the 2018 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
SHORTLISTED for the 2019 Miramichi Reader Very Best Book Award
SHORTLISTED for the 2019 Expozine Literary Awards
Leila Marshy is of Palestinian and Newfoundlander parentage, which is a lot. She been a filmmaker, a baker, an app designer, a marketer, a farmer, and editor of online culture journal Rover Arts. She has lived in Cairo, worked for Medical Aid for Palestine in Jerusalem, then in Montreal founded the Friends of Hutchison Street, a ground breaking community group bringing Hasidic and non-Hasidic neighbours together in dialogue. Her poetry and stories have appeared in Canadian and American journals and anthologies. The Philistine (LLP, 2018) is her first novel. She lives in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal).
Author website: haikuboxer.com