[26 Sep 2016 | No Comment | 34 views]
The Guardian about Khalifa’s No knives: “A pleasure to read… the writing is superb”

By Robin Yassin-Kassab, The Guardian, September 24, 2016
Were Syrians wise to revolt? Aren’t they worse off now? Such questions misapprehend the situation. Syrians didn’t decide out of the blue to destroy a properly functioning state. The state had been destroying them, and itself, for decades. In No Knives in the Kitchens of This City, Khaled Khalifa, poet, screenwriter and Syria’s most celebrated contemporary novelist, chronicles this long political, social and cultural collapse, the “incubator of contemporary demons”.

The story stretches back to the first world war and forward to the American …

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[27 Sep 2016 | No Comment | 15 views]
Selmi’s “art of instilling into apparently trivial narratives, deep questions on the individual and society” – Jeune Afrique

Youssef Ait Akdim, for Jeune Afrique, July 2013.
Photo credit: Bruno Levy
Dans Souriez, vous êtes en Tunisie !, Habib Selmi dresse un portrait acide de son pays. Écrit avant la révolution, ce roman prémonitoire sonde une société en plein bouleversement.

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[26 Sep 2016 | No Comment | 7 views]
Khalifa’s There are no knives is out in English! And reviewed in The National

A review by Marcia Lynx Qualey, for The National, September 21, 2016
Khaled Khalifa’s No Knives in the Kitchens of This City, like his acclaimed novel In Praise of Hatred (2013), is guided by a single powerful emotion. While In Praise tracks hatred as it seethes in and around Aleppo, No Knives, also translated by Leri Price, quickens around shame.

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[14 Sep 2016 | No Comment | 20 views]
Yazbek’s “Les portes du néant” (“The crossing”) is on the shortlist of the prestigious French Médicis award

There are 14 titles on the shortlist, and the winner will be announced on October 10th. The Prix Médicis aims at giving recognition to authors whose fame does not match their talent. The prize was awarded to authors such as Jean Echenoz, Philippe Sollers, Sorj Chalandon or Marie Darieussecq in the past.
Earlier in the summer, Samar Yazbek was given the title of”Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”, or “Knight of literature”, by the French ministry of culture. This title is a sign of recognition of the services Yazbek …

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[21 Jul 2016 | No Comment | 35 views]
“We are all corpses, waiting to die” – Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon writes in the New York Times

“Living With Death in Baghdad”
This piece was written by Sinan Antoon, for the New York Times, published on July 20th, 2016
Excerpts below.
When I was growing up in Baghdad, my favorite part of the city was Karrada, the neighborhood on the eastern bank of the Tigris where a bomb went off on July 3, killing at least 250 people. I would often go there just to stroll down its elegant streets. The main one was lined with stylish boutiques and stores selling delicious fresh juice and sandwiches. Attractive women and handsome …

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