Full quote: “Daughters of Jerusalem is an important book for anyone seeking to understand the roots of contemporary animosity between Israelis and Palestinians. Gerstman tells the heartbreaking and mystical stories of three generations of the Hazan family in early twentieth century Palestine, as traumatized diaspora Jews, reeling from pogroms and concentration camps, are emigrating en masse to their ancestral homeland. This migration worries local Arabs, who respond with increasing violence, which Jewish militias rise to meet – a conflict that British Imperial police are powerless to contain. The novel is told from a distinctive Sephardic Jewish cultural perspective, with rich texture that gives us a taste of Jerusalem under the Ottoman Turks, and then under the British. Gerstman’s daring suggestion is that not too long ago, Jews and Arabs coexisted in relative and quite intimate peace, sharing food, shelter, and the milk of human kindness. Perhaps they might again.” –Richard B. Simon, author of Teaching Big History
Inspired by Galya Gerstman’s grandmother’s stories and written in a warm folktale style, Daughters of Jerusalem is a timely novel, rich with the history of Jerusalem and the various powers that conquered it over the centuries. Galya shines a humanizing light on the multicultural history of Jerusalem and Palestine in the first half of the 20th century to the birth of Israel. https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/is-this-the-same-israel-my-grandmother-knew/
Galya Gerstman, author of Texting Olivia (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2021), taught French Literature at Tel Aviv University before relocating to Costa Rica to raise a family. She possesses a PhD in French Literature from Columbia University and a BA in Creative Writing from Barnard College. Galya, originally from New Jersey, is fluent in Hebrew and visits Tel Aviv annually, where her mother and brother still live.