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Pace Professor Discusses Novel at Harrison Library

HARRISON, N.Y. – Joan Katen, a professor of political science and Middle East politics at Pace University, discussed her novel “Love at the Edge” Wednesday night at the Harrison Public Library.

The novel tells the story of an Israeli man and Palestinian woman who fall in love despite the conflict between their cultures.

“I kept learning and teaching about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and it hurt my heart to the point where I couldn't do it anymore,” Katen said. "I didn't want to teach about sadness anymore. I’m trying to get people to make a move to the leaders of these people and international organizations so this problem can be solved in a fair, equitable way.”

“Love on the Edge” tells the story of David, an Israeli man, who keeps coming in contact with Yasmeen, a Palestinian woman in Paris. In the novel, David has lost his best friend to a suicide bomber while Yasmeen’s sister was killed by a stray Israeli bullet. Once the two find out about where the other is from, their preconceived notions take over. However, try as they might they keep running into each other until fate throws them a curve ball and they have to work together to survive.

“They have to learn how to trust each other,” Katen said. “What happens develops from the Corsican liberation movement, which wants to separate from France. It is a parallel thing that happens in the book where the characters can see their own position in their own conflict.’

Katen said part of the reason she decided to write this novel is because she is constantly irritated by the fact the two groups fighting each other are so similar. Katen said when Muhammad founded Islam, he took a lot of Jewish traditions.

“They are not very popular around the world because of this conflict,” Katen said. “But they are so similar. They should be working together for a good future to get rid of the conflict which is all about land. If you read this book you will feel the humanity involved in the conflict but the rest of the world still sees it as turmoil going on.”

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