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[31 Mar 2017 | No Comment | 29 views]
Sinan Antoon’s Ave Maria is out from Hoopoe! A first review by The National – “A novel of rare brilliance”

The National, March 29, 2017
he Baghdad Eucharist is a short read but one that lingers long in the mind due to its characters’ candid testimonies. Antoon entrances with both his lavish set-pieces and tight thumbnail sketches. Maha’s miscarriage, together with Youssef’s doomed love affair with a Muslim girl 20 years his junior, show suffering of a different kind. Antoon also manages to convey Youssef’s anguish at the felling and burning of Baghdad’s date palms – “so that the Americans can see the snipers and the snipers can see them”.

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[28 Mar 2017 | No Comment | 27 views]
Hoda Barakat’s The kingdom of this earth featured in The White Review

Translation by Marilyn Booth.
“Hoda Barakat’s THE KINGDOM OF THIS EARTH turns to the history of Lebanese Maronite Christians, from the Mandate period to shortly before the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in the mid-1970s. This scene, occurring very early in the novel, precedes a tragedy that will mark the family at the centre of the story, whose history of village pre-eminence puts them at the centre of local rivalries around class, land ownership, water rights, and gender politics. The ancestral past remains part of the present, as the children …

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[17 Mar 2017 | No Comment | 29 views]
Lecturer at an American University: Khalifa’s no knives is “the best piece of literature I’ve had the chance to read in the last 6 months”

In her blog lecturer Ashleen Williams explains why she has adopted Khalifa’s book in her class:
This fall I’ll be assigning No Knives in the Kitchens of this City by Khaled Khalifa for Honors 101 – “Self, Society and Identity.”
This is probably the best piece of literature I’ve had the chance to read in the last 6 or so months, and in my quest to assign my students readings from outside a western perspective, this is the obvious choice.

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[9 Mar 2017 | No Comment | 61 views]
L’Express: Antoon’s The pomegranate alone a “superb portrait” and a “beautiful narrative”

Marianne Payot, for L’Express
Published on March 5, 2017
Sinan Antoon brushes off the superb portrait of a man carried away by the maelstrom of the Middle East and raises the veil over Baghdad.
It is the story of a broken destiny, that of a young man who wanted to become a sculptor and who ends up washing the dead. Like his father and all his ancestors before him. A craft that knows no respite in contemporary worn torn Iraq.

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[11 Jan 2017 | No Comment | 33 views]
Barnes and Nobel recommends Khalifa’s “magnificent No knives in the kitchens of this city”

 
By David Ulin, for Barnes and nobels, published January 9, 2017
Why do we read fiction? There are as many answers to that question, I suppose, as there are readers, but for me, one of the primary reasons is empathy. Whatever else it bestows, fiction opens up the inner life, collapsing the distance between us and its narrators, its characters, connecting us at the level of the heart. To read a novel is to know someone else on the most intimate level, to sit with them, to grieve with them, to …

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[15 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 61 views]
The New York Times reviews Khalifa’s “No Knives”: “Horror of living in Aleppo comes pounding to life in this book”

By Jennifer Senior, for The New York Times, December 14 2016
Aleppo has essentially fallen. The images have been unignorable, calamitous: of residents wandering numbly through burning city streets; of parents sobbing over dead children; of the strong wheeling away the weak. On Tuesday, a United Nations official described the massacre of fleeing civilians as “a complete meltdown of humanity.” Residents have been tweeting out their goodbyes. Tens of thousands have already been displaced or perished.
A once-thriving metropolis of wealth, power and culture is now in ruins.
Khaled Khalifa writes about his …