In the summer of 1949, a Palestinian Bedouin girl is abused and murdered by Israeli soldiers.

More than half a century later, a young woman from Ramallah sets out to find out more about this incident, which took place exactly 25 years after her birth.

Paul Ingenday

Europe correspondent for the feuilleton in Berlin.

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A coincidence of numbers initiates the action of Adania Shibli's slim novel "A Minority", which expands into a reflection on history, violence, origin and borderlines, on loneliness, identity and the inner checkpoints when crossing marked and guarded zones.

What "really" happened back then recedes further and further into the realm of an obsessive self-search.

Adania Shibli, born in Palestine in 1974, presents her German debut with this novel.

The book was shortlisted for the 2022 International Literature Prize of the House of World Cultures.

In the conversation, the author avoids oversimplifying political statements and insists on the "other" of literature, tells of the formative storyteller in her life and the peculiarities of the Arabic literary language.

“ Eine Nebensache” was published by Berenberg Verlag, was translated from Arabic by Günther Orth, has 120 pages and costs 22 euros.

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