Life in a Country Album is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and above all, inspirational. Nathalie Handal's musings are divided into four regional parts: Album Français, Album Arabe Paris, Album Mediterraneen, and American Album; they cover such diverse topics as books, Bosnian multi-ethnic culture, jasmines of Damascus, Turkish entari (traditional women's wedding costume) and Palestinian embroidery – tatreez – from Bethlehem.
Though Handal spent most of her life in the US, this book reflects her being very strict Palestinian side and her universal experiences. Therefore, when one reads Life in a Country Album, one realises the extent to which her poetry was affected by Palestine's pre-eminent national poet Mahmoud Darwish.
This book is on the shortlist for the Palestine Book Awards 2020, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine book awards site.