The Daily Star, 14th June 2012.
Ultimately, the biographer’s major accomplishment is to remake a decades-old revolutionary icon into a living, breathing woman.
Yes, Khaled is an activist and a political voice on contemporary Palestinian affairs and her commitment to her cause has endured. Her wit and bloody-mindedness in the face of occupation have not lessened an iota. In Irving’s portrayal, Khaled is a wife and mother faced with the challenges of raising a family, but one with the additional concerns of a Palestinian refugee and former militant.
That Irving has found space in this light volume for extensive exploration of the evolution of women’s rights within the Palestinian resistance is testament to the author’s economy with words.
“Leila Khaled – Icon of Palestinian Liberation” is an ideal read for those seeking a brief introductory account that neither glorifies or vilifies its subject nor dumbs down the complexity of the context in which she lived and worked.
Read the full article here.
Electronic Intifada, 23rd May 2012
Known primarily for the two aircraft hijacking operations she was involved with in 1969 and 1970, Khaled has since then become a major PFLP activist and leader in her own right. It may come as a surprise, then, that before the publication of Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation, there was no biography of her (apart from an autobiography in the 1970s). The Electronic Intifada contributor Sarah Irving has set out to right this wrong, and achieves it ably with this exciting little book, newly published by Pluto Press as part of its “Revolutionary Lives” series.
A major strength of the book is that its based mostly on primary source material: interviews with Khaled herself at her home in Amman, Jordan. Irving also dove into the archives, reading seemingly everything there was to be found in English on Khaled.
Full article here.
Pluto Books now have the Leila Khaled biography available to pre-order at a discounted rate. Hopefully the actual book will be out in May this year. More details of the book and the Pluto offer here.
In September 2008 I visited Leila Khaled in her Amman home to conduct a series of interviews for a biography of this fascinating woman, to be published – probably in 2012 – by Pluto Press. In the course of researching the book, I found innumerable interviews, articles, books and photos of or about her, but a surprisingly small amount of information that went beyond the focus on her 1969 and 1970 hijackings. I also found a lot of people who seemed to want to know more. I hope this site – which is really just a hub for lots of other links – will provide some of that information, at least until my more comprehensive biography comes out. If there’s anything you think is missing from the site, or which is incorrect, please get in touch via my website.
Please note that this website is a work in progress and will fill up slowly (not too slowly, I hope). I’ve started with the pages that I have the most easily added material for, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for do please come back.