This Heated Place

Encounters in the Promised Land

This Heated PlaceDuring the first Gulf War, journalist Deborah Campbell was a student of Middle Eastern studies at Tel Aviv University; she returned to the region ten years later seeking insights into one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. “I wanted to fill in the missing pieces, ask the questions I had been unable to formulate in the past,” she writes. “I arrived to an escalating crisis.”

This Heated Place takes readers on a literary journey into twenty-first century Israel and the occupied territories, as Campbell drives through the West Bank with an American-Israeli settler in his bombproof SUV; visits a Palestinian family in Hebron in the aftermath of an army raid; meets students of an Islamic girls’ school in Gaza; and talks to Israeli refuseniks who have spent time in prison for their stance. As she travels, she is mindful of the words of someone she meets along the way. When it comes to understanding this terrible conflict, he tells her, what you see depends on where you are standing.

This Heated Place skillfully combines elements of political reporting, travel writing and personal observation. In recounting her journey, Campbell creates an unforgettable portrait of the people caught up in this complex and bloody struggle.

Read an excerpt

Praise for This Heated Place

“Revealing insights…admirably non-judgmental.”
―Globe and Mail

“A unique piece of work that doesn’t just deserve to be read, it needs to be read. Boldly written and poignantly told, This Heated Place is a truly moving experience that offers a great deal of insight…A riveting nonfiction tale…standing on the side of humanity.”
―Edmonton Jewish News

“A beautiful book.”
―Vicki Gabereau, Vicki Gabereau Show, CTV

―The Georgia Straight

“An honest work that excellently captures this intractable situation in the Middle East… Brilliant. You have to get this book.”
―Michael Harris, author of Justice Denied

This Heated Place, by Deborah Campbell, offers a variety of perspectives on the region as the author encounters gay Tel Avivians, West Bank settlers and Gaza schoolgirls.”
Lonely Planet (Recommended Reading)

“The very human perspective Campbell brings to the ongoing conflict, as well as her talent for storytelling, make This Heated Place a compelling read.”
Herizons Magazine

“Campbell is an engaging chronicler…with an accomplished narrative voice. Her characters live, her scenes are vivid.”
Vancouver Sun

“Campbell successfully breaks through cultural stereotypes and media bias to find the human heart in the bloody struggle. A skillful blend of reportage, travel writing and memoir.”
―Bellingham Weekly

“What does genuinely independent Mideast journalism look like? One answer can be found in Campbell’s This Heated Place.”
―The Westender