The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine

General Programming

  • Center for Palestine Studies
  • Columbia Journalism School
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.

Ben Ehrenreich and Colm Tóibín in conversation.


In The Way to the Spring, Ben Ehrenreich describes the cruel mechanics of the Israeli occupation and the endless absurdities and tragedies it engenders: the complex and humiliating machinery of the checkpoints, walls, courts, and prisons; the steady, strangling loss of land; the constant ebb and flow of deadly violence. Blending political and historical context with the personal stories of the people he meets, Ehrenreich records the extremes to which Palestinians are pushed, the daily deprivation and oppression that they face, and the strategies they construct to resist and survive—stoicism, resignation, rebellion, humor, and a stubborn, defiant joy.

Since its publication in June, The Way to the Spring has been widely praised. Rajah Shehadeh called it “a superbly intelligent, informative and critical book”; Adam Shatz called it “a freedom song, burning with humanity”; and, writing in The Guardian, Yasmine El Rashidi lauded it as a “chillingly beautiful, albeit heartbreaking, chronicle of Palestinian life in the West Bank.”