Sandy Tolan, Author, Sandy Tolan, Read by HighBridge Audio $36.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-56511-988-8
Tolan offers listeners an easy-to-follow journey through a maddeningly stubborn conflict that has infused global politics since the 1940s. Based on his 1998 NPR documentary, Tolan personalizes the Arab-Israeli conflict by tracing the intertwined lives of a Palestinian refugee named Bashir Al-Khairi and a Jewish settler named Dalia Eshkenazi Landau. The pair is connected through a stone home in Ramla, now part of Israel. Built in the 1930s by Bashir's father, the Al-Khairi family was forced to flee during the violent formation of Israel in 1948. The Eshkenazis, Holocaust survivors from Bulgaria, became the new owners. After 1967's Six Day War, Bashir showed up and Dalia invited him in and began an intense dialogue that's lasted four decades. Tolan's evenhanded narration imparts the passion of both sides without slipping into impassioned delivery. While at times his random emphasis of words makes for a slightly wavy cadence, his pronunciation of Arab and Jewish names and phrases is pleasingly authentic. One of Tolan's most moving passages chronicles Dalia 20-mile trip to Ramallah to visit Bashir. Their seemingly simple conversation, rendered with just the right amount of heart, crystallizes and humanizes the positions of each side. The Lemon Tree is a clear-eyed and steady ride into deeply felt and ever-volatile territory. Simultaneous release with the Bloomsbury hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 27).
Me and Hank: A Boy and His Hero, Twenty-Five Years Later
In 1973 baseball's greatest hitter, Hank Aaron, was nearing his greatest moment: surpassing Babe Ruth's 714 career home runs. As a result, Aaron received death threats and hundreds of pounds of hate Continue reading »
Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land
In 1988, a photograph of an eight-year-old Palestinian boy poised to throw a stone became a widely reproduced symbol of the first Palestinian intifada. This eye-opening book from Tolan (The Lemon Continue reading »
The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East
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 Continue reading »