2 April Matthew Teller, Nine Quarters of Jerusalem (meeting in person)

In Jerusalem, what you see and what is true are two different things. The Old City has never had “four quarters” as its maps proclaim. And beyond the crush and frenzy of its major religious sites, many of its quarters are little known to visitors, its people ignored and their stories untold. “Nine Quarters of Jerusalem” lets the communities of the Old City speak for themselves. Ranging from ancient past to political present, it evokes the city’s depth and cultural diversity. Matthew Teller’s highly original “biography” features the Old City’s Palestinian and Jewish communities, but also spotlights its Indian and African populations, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac cultures, its downtrodden Dom Gypsy families, and its Sufi mystics. It discusses the sources of Jerusalem’s holiness and the ideas—often startlingly secular—that have shaped lives within its walls. It is an evocation of place through story, led by the voices of Jerusalemites.

Matthew Teller’s “Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City” (Profile Books, 2022) was named a Book of the Year by the Daily Telegraph. Matthew writes for the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Times, Financial Times and other global media. He has produced and presented documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and World Service, and has reported for Radio 4’s ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ from around the Middle East and beyond. He is the author of several travel guides, including the Rough Guide to Jordan. His previous book was “Quite Alone: Journalism from the Middle East 2008–2019”.

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