ERRORS IN ‘ONLY NEGATIVE REVIEW OF MY BOOK’
Congratulations to Norman Lebrecht for writing the only negative published review ( JC, Oct 23) of my book, Children of the Stone, to date. I normally don’t respond to reviews but, given his one-sidedness and inaccuracies, I feel compelled to correct the record.
In his review, Mr Lebrecht falsely claims that it is hard from my narrative to decipher the sources of violence against Ramzi Aburedwan’s family, when it is immensely clear in the narrative. Nor, as he claims, was it necessary to search the book’s notes to find a discussion on Palestinian-onPalestinian violence during the first intifada, as it is clearly mentioned on pages 48 and 67 of the book.
Mr Lebrecht writes of my alleged “inability to ask a critical question.” In fact the book is replete with such questions, including of Ramzi himself and, more importantly, of the reality of a military occupation in which Ramzi’s music students — children — are forced to live under every day.
Perhaps these are questions that make Mr Lebrecht uncomfortable; whatever the reason, he fails to mention that reality, which courses through my narrative, in his review. It is apparent he has never set foot in the West Bank, nor ever spoken with a Palestinian about the experience of a military occupation that is now nearly half-a-century old. I would have expected a more serious engagement with this issue from your pages. Sandy Tolan, Associate Professor USC, Los Angeles, USA.