This unique, absorbing biography of the city brings to light its overlooked histories and diverse contemporary voices.
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 not just Jerusalem’s Palestinian and Jewish communities, but its African and Indian voices, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac communities, 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.