Book Explores Middle East Through Micro Lens

Sandy w musicians west bank
Homelands’ Sandy Tolan records Palestinian musicians playing near a checkpoint in the West Bank.

In a wide-ranging review of recent books on the Middle East, essayist N.S. Morris lauds Sandy Tolan’s Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land for its intimacy and freshness.

“Tolan exhibits novelistic flair and a tireless penchant for the telling detail,” she writes in the Los Angeles Review of Books. “His approach to character is immersive, and his treatment of the politics swirling around its characters is comprehensive.”

Norris’ article, called “Reading the Middle East,” looks at works of creative nonfiction that use a “micro” lens to examine the conflict in Israel and Palestine. These books provide “a single access point through which to tell the region’s complicated history… one small story through which larger historical truths can be elucidated anew.”