Praise for Wall of Dust
Wall of Dust is a novel both timely and timeless in its examination of the perpetual devastation and suffering in the daily lives of those trapped by the conflicts of Palestine and Israel. Like Amy Wilentz’s Martyrs’ Crossing, it tells a stunning story of divided loyalties, love, fear, and personal sacrifice. Tim Niedermann’s sensitive narrative is, on its own, a compelling story about a woman who must make moral choices in her life. But there is a bigger gift here: only novels such as this let us begin to feel deeply the true complex realities for so many people on both sides of this endless struggle in the Middle East.
Katharine Weber, Richard A. Thomas Chair of Creative Writing, Kenyon College
Author of The Music Lesson, Triangle, and True Confections
What a fascinating novel it is! I enjoyed the narrative style, lyrical and down-to-earth at once; and I now better understood the slow pace at the beginning of the novel in building up the plot and leading to the action at the Wall. The description of the feelings of the Palestinians about the Israeli occupation and of the Israeli scorn of the Arabs is a reflection of the reality of the situation. The “wall” symbolizes the Palestinians’ discomfiture; their stone-throwing at the wall, their thwarted anger; and the ending at the partial collapse of the wall is a fitting denouement. This is a novel that brings up many thoughts to mind, even about God.
Issa Boullata, Emeritus Professor of Arabic Literature and Quranic Studies, McGill University
Author of The Bells of Memory: A Palestinian Boyhood in Jerusalem
I found it deeply engaging. It is quite an exercise in empathy. I think it was good strategy . . . to tell the story from an omniscient point of view. We needed to see the multiple perspectives. It is quite interesting how the wall is a symbol of cold power. It's there as a mute character and yet it isn't mute. . . Aisha's journey in the car with Idith is truly remarkable. The most interesting characters are those who're able to go beyond the wall. Of course, in real life it's only the Israelis who can. One cannot expect the Palestinians, imprisoned in Gaza and the West Bank, to surmount the real and metaphorical walls. It succeeds in making Hussein come close to doing so. The language is grounded. We visualize the communities. It takes us there. Excellent writing.
H. Nigel Thomas, former professor of US literature, University of Montreal
Author of No Safeguards and Return to Arcadia
Wall of Dust is a compelling novel. The writing is lyrical and I particularly admire the deft handling of multiple points of view, with seamless shifts from one character to the next. The book deals with complex issues and in that respect, it’s courageous. Niedermann writes with humanity and grace.
Cora Siré, winner of second prize 2013 Quebec Writers Short Story Competition
Author of The Other Oscar