For much of her life--like many Westerners--most of what Pamela Olson knew of the Middle East was informed by headlines and stereotypes. But when she traveled to Palestine in 2003, she found herself thrown with dizzying speed into the realities of Palestinian life.
"Fast Times in Palestine" is Olson's powerful, deeply moving account of life in Palestine--both the daily events that are universal to us all (house parties, concerts, barbecues, and weddings) as well as the violence, trauma, and political tensions that are particular to the country. From idyllic olive groves to Palestinian beer gardens, from Passover in Tel Aviv to Ramadan in a Hamas village, readers will find Olson's narrative both suspenseful and discerning. Her irresistible story offers a multi-faceted understanding of the Palestinian perspective on the Israel/Palestine conflict, filling a gap in the West's popular understanding of the difficult relationship between the two nations.
At turns funny, shocking, and galvanizing, "Fast Times in Palestine" is a gripping narrative that challenges our ways of thinking--not only about the Middle East, but about human nature, cultural identity, and our place in the world.
Pamela Olson lived in Ramallah for two years, during which she served as head writer and editor for the "Palestine Monitor" and foreign press coordinator for Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi's 2005 presidential campaign. She's published stories and articles in "CounterPunch, Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss," Israel's "Occupation Magazine, " and "The Stanford Magazine," and she also wrote an essay about disputed holy sites for the "Encyclopedia of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." She lives in New York City.