Under the Gaze of Angels offers treasured views of family and neighborhood life, native to the Galilee, in the years leading up to and following the upheavals of 1948.
A collection of four stories, told with simplicity and warmth, they include three set during the time of British mandate rule: “Zuha and the Book Vendor,” “The English Gramophone,” and “Yildiz the Turkish Woman.” These are followed by the book’s title work, a remembrance that travels from childhood to elder years, pursued by loss. Imagined or recalled in exile, these vivid, evocative mementos quietly disarm the violence that surrounds them, restoring a stolen past to memory under the gaze of angels.
“Crafted with labor to keep the heart free from hate, these beautiful stories allowed me the enormous privilege of access to a Palestine I’d never have otherwise known...”
– Isabel Huggan
“[I]mpressive … consistently entertaining, remarkably original, and compelling short story collection … Under the Gaze of Angels is a simply outstanding and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college and university library Literary Fiction collections.”
– Midwest Book Review
“Said Habib's debut text is an enchanting retrospection of Palestinians lives, and how previously mundane realities were then impacted by political events. It is a poignant reminder of the power of memory and Palestinian existence as resistance … Habib’s collection of stories are a delicate balance between the political and the personal, where the latter is unraveled in anecdotes and narratives that bring Palestinian lives closer to the reader … [His] prose is detailed and the stories are touching, providing an insight into Palestinian lives … Bringing daily life experiences closer to non-Palestinians makes the Palestinian experience more tangible and vivid, for the reader to identify with the feelings, if not the experience, of being Palestinian.”