This article situates the Palestinian right of return within the context of Palestinian-American literary reflections and the intersection of women’s and human rights. Providing a brief history of Palestinian dispossession and the struggle for return, it explores the multiple dimensions of “return” in the context of physical displacement, loss, cultural erasure, and diaspora negotiations of belonging and exile. Identifying return as both a right and as a metaphor, it looks at gendered realities of Palestinian and Palestinian-American experience, critiques the dichotomy of nationalism and feminism, and explores how Palestinian-American literature, emerging from personal and political displacement, narrates a literary claim to both reclamation and transformation, in which to return is to claim what was lost and to construct Palestinian reality anew. Drawing on the words of several Palestinian-American authors and the author’s own experiences, the article voices “return” as a claim to the past and a foundation for the future.

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