Our friend Pamela Olson’s book Fast Times in Palestine (previously self-published) has just been published by Seal Press, and her tour began this week in the Bay Area. Today she’ll be in Corte Madera, Monday in Palo Alto, Tuesday in Berkeley.
Then she’ll travel the west coast, Portland, Seattle, Olympia, before heading inland to Denver, Boulder, Oklahoma City, and then on to several cities on the East Coast.
“I’d love to see some Mondoweiss readers along the way!” she writes. “The book has had an encouraging start, and I hope it can keep going and eventually have an impact on US public opinion–which I believe is so ready for a nudge in a more honest and realistic direction.”
Her full schedule can be found here. Update: Berkeley event tomorrow: Tuesday, March 19, 8pm UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, Room 295 (Please enter through the courtyard entrance near the entrance to Simon Hall)
Fast Times in Palestine is a coming-of-age memoir about a Stanford graduate from Oklahoma who lands in Palestine on a backpacking trip, starts doing journalism, and serves as the foreign press coordinator for a Palestinian presidential candidate.
(And here is Olson’s story about moving from self-published to be publisher-published.)
Below are some of the early reviews:
“Harrowing, funny, vivid, entertaining and deeply humane, Fast Times in Palestine opens a rare window onto Palestinian life. It’s impossible not to be moved on nearly every page.”
— Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree
“I have read much of the writing on this conflict, and no other book has conveyed such an authentic, penetrating, and enchanting sense of the Palestinian people and their long struggle for rights and security.”
— Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories
“Pamela Olson leads the reader on an exciting, funny, at times heart-wrenching journey, carefully deciphering complex political and historical issues.”
— Ramzy Baroud, author of My Father was a Freedom Fighter
“It’s love in the time of occupation as Pamela Olson takes us on the emotional roller-coaster of her very personal experience of life in Ramallah—and in doing so lays bare the human drama of a people determined to live free.”
— Tony Karon, TIME Magazine
“[T]he strength of the narrative lies in Olson’s investigation of the personal and mental effects of oppression and war on herself and her newfound friends, ‘the atmosphere of mute shock expressed only in sidelong glances . . . of knowing something few people knew, and of genuine connection and collective struggle.'”
— Kirkus Reviews
“More than a travelogue or a polemic, the book is a coming-of-age story [about] confronting the challenges of living in a state of institutionalized paradox . . . Engaging and easy to read, this is a fascinating memoir.”
— Publishers Weekly
Fast Times in Palestine was named a Top Ten Travel Book of 2013 by Publishers Weekly! Go Pamela!