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Independent London publisher Saqi Books is to publish Marcello Di Cintio’s latest work ‘Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense’ in May, marking 70 years since the Nakba (Palestine exodus) began.

The award-winning Canadian writer who has lived in West Africa, North Africa, India and the Middle East, travelled across Palestine from the Allenby Bridge and Ramallah, to Jerusalem and Gaza, to meet with writers, poets, librarians, booksellers and readers in researching his latest work.

During his time in Palestine, the author found a host of unique stories, including how revolutionary writing is smuggled from the Naqab Prison, the challenges of writing with just two hours of electricity each day and the Gallery Café, whose opening was celebrated by three thousand creative intellectuals. Among the most poignant is a cobbler in Hebron who adds a pinch of dirt from the nearby hills to the soles of the shoes he makes so that no matter where his customers go, they will always walk upon the soil of their homeland.

‘Pay No Heed to the Rockets’ takes a literary voyage into the heritage of Palestine, paying homage to the memory of literary giants like Mahmoud Darwish and Ghassan Kanafani and the contemporary authors whom they continue to inspire.

It is Di Cintio’s third book, following ‘Walls: Travels Along the Barricades’, which won the 2013 Shaugnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the City of Calgary WO Mitchell Book Prize.