"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 realize that without knowing it, I have long waited for this book, although I could not have imagined its lyric magic in advance of reading."
— Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton (full review)
"What makes her story so compelling is that she tells it in an honest and straightforward way, not by relying on hot rhetoric. For anyone who wants to learn the truth about life under Israeli occupation, this book is a superb starting point."
— Prof. John J. Mearsheimer, co-author of The Israel Lobby
"More than a travelogue or a polemic, the book is a coming-of-age story, as Olson discovers her voice by directly confronting the challenges of living in a state of institutionalized paradox... Engaging and easy to read, this is a fascinating memoir."
"The 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…' An empathetic, intriguing memoir."
inspiring account of life in Palestine that's enormously informative yet
reads like a novel."
"Pamela Olson leads the reader on an exciting, funny, at times
heart-wrenching journey, carefully deciphering complex political and
historical issues. Olson is a talented writer, intelligent and
exceptional in her ability to convey both tragedy and hope, remaining
morally grounded and refreshingly honest."
"As an Israeli whose life was shaped by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I found Fast Times in Palestine
moving and refreshing. Pamela Olson comes to the Middle East with a
blank slate and is therefore able to hold up an undistorted mirror to
the reality she encounters."
"Pamela Olson operates in a great tradition of American explorers,
from Martha Gellhorn to Susan Meiselas to Rachel Corrie — open-minded
women who have thrown off a lot of tired received wisdom about a fearful
part of the world in order to see it for themselves, then brought that
understanding back to their own culture. This book is a triumph of
sympathy and observation."
"Fast Times in Palestine will open your eyes to the human
story inside the political drama. Mixing humor, memoir, political
intrigue, romance, and sociological commentary, Olson’s heartfelt work
will change how you understand the Middle East."
— Patricia Ryan Madson, Professor Emerita of Stanford University and author of Improv Wisdom
"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, Senior Editor, TIME
"In a field overcrowded with arcane academic texts and strident
polemics, Pamela Olson has broken through with a refreshing read that
packs gritty journalism into a fast-paced, intimate personal narrative."
"Part adventure story, part searing
reportage, part love story, and wholly absorbing... If
you want to know what everyday life is like for the Palestinian people,
go to Palestine; if you can’t, read this book."
— Dr. Kenneth Ring, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Connecticut, and co-author of Letters from Palestine
"Olson does not merely report on the world of others; she steps into their shoes and sees the world through their eyes. Fast Times in Palestine
is a heroic and touching journey to self-awareness that will awaken the
reader to a more humane perspective on the Arab world."
"Olson's masterful storytelling, imagery, and wit take the reader on a transformative journey through Palestine."
More News and Reviews
Review by Prof. Richard Falk
Interview with IndieReader
Review in This Week in Palestine
Review by Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh, Mondoweiss
Palestine Presentation at Google Tech Talks
Amazon Reviews [for an earlier edition]
Interview with Noor Elashi
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