Around the world, violence and conflicts have forced millions of people out of their homes. In Salt Houses — the debut novel of poet and clinical psychologist, Hala Alyan — a Palestinian family is uprooted after the Six-Day War in 1967.
They have to quickly grab their belongings and flee for safety. Influenced by her own personal experiences, Alyan writes about how people hold onto their culture, language, identity during a crisis and how they reestablish and reinvent a home.
Earlier on this morning, Marty Moss-Coane asked Alyan to describe what home means to her.
“I think for a very long time I was attached to the idea of finding a place that could carry all of the things that I wanted in my life,” Alyan said. “I sort of let that go, and I think of family more as home now.”
“I have a very hard time saying goodbye to even like terrible apartments that I didn’t like living in,” Alyan said. “I have a ritual the night before I move from anywhere where I actually say goodbye to the walls. I put my cheek against them, and I whisper thank you.”
To hear more from Alyan, listen to Radio Times.