The photo above shows the bestsellers at a bookstore in Oslo central station. We see Ken Follett doing pretty good up at second place, and Dan Brown struggling but still scoring a healthy fifth. Susan Abulhawa’s “Morning in Jenin” ranks in between, on fourth place. This is extraordinary – “Morning in Jenin” is by no means a fresh piece of work, but has been out since May. Furthermore the book manages to pass itself off as a work of fiction, while at the same time being acknowledged as telling the “true story” of Palestine (Bistandsaktuelt).
Note that when Dagens Næringsliv reviewed Abulhawa’s book, it was described as being either a piece of political propaganda pretending to be a novel or the other way around, but by no means a work of literature. Then again, the other newspaper reviews gave the book standing ovations (Stian Bromark in Dagbladet, Mala Wang-Naveen in Aftenposten, Cathrine Straume in NRK).
If you should ever find yourself in need of money, know this: no evil sells like Israeli evil. And even if this evil is just made up, don’t worry – it will pass as the truth.