Dr. Amin Jaafari, an Arab-Israeli citizen, is a surgeon at a hospital in Tel Aviv. Dedicated to his work, respected and admired by his colleagues and community, he represents integration at its most successful. He has learned to live with the violence and chaos that plague his city, and on the night of a deadly bombing in a local restaurant, he works tirelessly to help the shocked and shattered patients brought to the emergency room. But this night of turmoil and death takes a horrifyingly personal turn. His wife’s body is found among the dead, with massive injuries, the police coldly announce, typical of those found on the bodies of fundamentalist suicide bombers. As evidence mounts that his wife, Sihem, was responsible for the catastrophic bombing, Dr. Jaafari is torn between cherished memories of their years together and the inescapable realization that the beautiful, intelligent, thoroughly modern woman he loved had a life far removed from the comfortable, assimilated existence they shared.
From the graphic, beautifully rendered description of the bombing that opens the novel to the searing conclusion, The Attack portrays the reality of terrorism and its incalculable spiritual costs. Intense and humane, devoid of political bias, hatred, and polemics, it probes deep inside the Muslim world and gives readers a profound understanding of what seems impossible to understand.
"Khadra's best and most ambitious novel yet...An audaciously conceived and courageously important novel...Khadra has a mastery of plot that lends this story a propulsive, whodunit energy."
–The Los Angeles Times
"A genuine work of art...The Attack derives its force in large measure from never going off track as a novel, never slipping for a moments–as it easily could–into a fictional political tract. Every idea expressed, every action that takes place, is solidly grounded in character, in the complex, inconsistent and contradictory elements of human nature. Khadra neither demonizes nor offers any apology for the terrorists. He simply presents them as human beings who happen to be willing, even eager, to kill innocent people. By so doing, he places them squarely beyond the pale."
–The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Gripping and dynamic...The Attack is both a plea for peace and a rendering of the Palestinian frustration and fury that this well-heeled Arab-Israeli (Jaafari) once managed to ignore."
–The New York Times
“The Attack is a riveting and exciting novel. It’s stunningly graphic in its depiction of the horrors of the bloody confrontation, of the brutality inherent in the sacrifices made for the cause.”
“The Attack derives its force in large measure from the never going off track as a novel, never slipping into a fictional political tract. Every idea expressed, every action that takes place, is solidly grounded in character, in the complex, inconsistent and contradictory elements of human nature…. [A] wonderfully humane book”
“[I]n this novel, [Khadra], limns, quite brilliantly, the character of man torn to pieces by extremism and extreme social distress, neither of which has been of his own making”
“The Attack is a thoughtful and emotional dissection of the personal politics of the Palestinian-Israeli clash…. To the curious and observant mind...The Attack is an engaging glimpse into the kinds of stories we never hear on CNN”
–Time Out Chicago
“At once a tale of supreme grief and disappointment, The Attack is also a meditation on the value of life, the guilt and confusion a killer leaves behind and the difficulty of living an apolitical life in a world torn apart by religious strife and separatism.”
“powerful and deft…”
–Detroit Free Press
"Powerful and engrossing...The Attack is a detective story sans detective, suffused with raging grief over what sectarian violence has made of the Islamic world."
“A magnificent novel, believable and moving”
“Evocative writing…thoughtful and affecting work”