Book Size: 6" x 9"

Pages: 288

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781623716875

Release date: Summer 2024



Reflections on a Warrior Woman


$ 20

About this book

A Palestinian Woman's dazzling exploration of heritage, gender and the idea of home.

I may not be brave enough, but somewhere deep inside of me there is, perhaps, the kernel of someone who is.

That brave someone was the legendary Nusayba bint Ka’ab al Khazrajia, who fought alongside the Prophet Muhammad at the dawn of Islam, the author N.S Nuseibeh’s ancestor. In drawing on Nusayba’s stories, Nuseibeh delves into the experience of being an Arab woman today and in the distant past—taking her from superheroes and the glorification of violence to the rise of Arab feminism, to what courage looks like in the context of interminable conflict. By seeking to understand her namesake in the context of her own twenty-first century concerns, Nuseibeh links our current ideas of Muslims and Arabs with their origins, exploring myth-making and identity, religion and nationhood, feminism and race.

As intimate as they are thoughtful, these linked essays offer a dazzling exploration of heritage, gender and the idea of home, while also showing how connecting with our history can help us understand ourselves and others today.


About the author

N. S. Nuseibeh is a British-Palestinian writer and researcher, born and raised in East Jerusalem. Her interests include issues around identity, ethics, inequality, and education. She has previously written for The Atlantic and been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Namesake won the Giles St. Auburn Award—First Prize as a work-in-progress.


“A brilliant book … thoughtful, rigorous, fascinating, personal, reflective, all the good things.” — Octavia Bright
“The life of Nusayba—a mother, a warrior—becomes the prism through which N.S. Nuseibeh deftly and lyrically reflects the contemporary world back to us, illuminating not only the layers of a physical landscape shaped by empire and colonialism, but of our mental landscapes of myth and story. Probing questions of identity, inheritance, faith, feminism and home, Namesake is a masterful tapestry. It will leave you seeing both self and world with new eyes.” — Erica Berry
“N.S. Nuseibeh conjures her diverse identities and interests to create a world that is free and hospitable. English-Palestinian, author-cook, mythologist-feminist, at home in Jerusalem, at work in Oxford, and at play in New York, Nuseibeh confronts the divisive and discriminatory issues that dog our times with a cosmopolitan ethic of justice and equality that seeks to build arguments, rather than to win them … Namesake explores vulnerability, fragility, anxiety, and ambivalence as ways of beautifully coming to terms with the wounds and worries of the world.” — Homi K. Bhabha
“A wonderful book about the deep back stories and the tangled histories of N. S. Nuseibeh’s own multiple identities. She is self-deprecating and thoughtful and always interesting, a rare instance of a writer who seems to listen as much as she informs.” — Mark Haddon
“Nuseibeh deftly probes a wide range of topics—history, feminism, religion, culture, nostalgia, racism, violence, anxiety, illness and motherhood—in ways that are deeply personal, specific and nuanced … Perhaps most beautifully and importantly, Nuseibeh’s writing demands of her what it asks of her reader: self-examination, honesty and grace. It’s no small thing to achieve in writing something so deeply personal that also graciously extends to others.” — Dima Alzayat
“Fascinating, insightful and eye-opening. Namesake taught and entertained me in equal measure with its warmth, originality and vision. I loved how N.S. Nuseibeh seamlessly navigated between the brutally personal and breathtakingly universal, how she wove in such an eclectic and impressive range of voices and ideas.” — Violet Moller
“Such a brave, insightful and important book. A collection of essays exploring the author’s Palestinian, Arab, British, Muslim, female, academic and privileged identities through deep thinking and rigorous research while using an ancestor as her touchstone … I learned so much from this book.” — Zeba Talkhani

At once vulnerable and intellectually rigorous, here is an illuminating and trenchant exploration of Muslim feminism An essential read in the war against lazy stereotypes, cultural annihilation, and every form of apartheid.
The Guardian

A wonderfully inventive blend of personal insight and contemporary commentary with Islamic history, myth and culture Intuitive and profound.
The Big Issue

Incredible A very warmly told and a very human book filled with tenderness, ample food, and sensory descriptions.
Caroline Eden

N. S. Nuseibehs Namesake is a brilliant collection of essays threaded together by reflections on an early Muslim warrior The prose is beautiful and evocative. Its lyrical imagery involves all of the senses: when recounting a dinner party, Nuseibeh describes the way the music sounded, the textures on the table, and the flavor of the food. Metaphors are frequent and stunning, connecting a Palestinian meal to home for instance, or every new religion to a seed that grows into a tree Namesake is a raw and dazzling essay collection about identity and how the personal is inseparable from the general.
A thoughtful, insightful, recommended collection of essays on Palestinian experiences that connects history with contemporary societies In a series of linked essays, many topics, including food, worry, motherhood, conversion, anger, feminism, language, violence, and common traditions, are covered. Nuseibeh dispels common stereotypes that many Westerners have about Palestinians, especially Palestinian women.
Library Journal
In chapters focused on identity, motherhood, sexism, and superheroes, Nuseibeh wonders how her namesake would have reacted to twenty-first-century challenges Ultimately for Nuseibeh as a Palestinian woman, the roles of mother, warrior, and liberator blend. Beautifully and powerfully told.


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