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[11 Nov 2018 | No Comment | 12 views]
Kirkus reviews Khalifa’s “Death is hard work”: “Insistent, memorable portrait of the small indignities and large horrors of the civil war in Syria”

Starred review by Kirkus, November 2018

Insistent, memorable portrait of the small indignities and large horrors of the civil war in Syria. A native of the Aleppo district, Khalifa—well-known in the Arabic-reading world but new to most American readers and a winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature—here writes of a family both joined and torn apart by death. The paterfamilias knows that his passing is imminent: The first sentence reads, “Two hours before he died, Abdel Latif al-Salim looked his son Bolbol straight in the eye with as much of …

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[24 Oct 2018 | No Comment | 14 views]
Douaihy’s “Printed in Beirut” in the Midwest book review: “Exquisite irony”

Published by Midwest Book Review, October 2018
Farid Abou Char arrives in Beirut on a hot summer morning with his manuscript, looking for a publisher. He is turned down by all of them; nobody reads anymore, he is told. Instead, he accepts a job as a proofreader at the famous old print house Karam Bros., allegedly established in 1908. Disappointed by the menial tasks of checking catalogs and ad copy, Farid secretly hopes that his book will eventually be published.

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[22 Oct 2018 | No Comment | 11 views]
Booklist reviews Jabbour Douaihy’s “Printed in Beirut” – “scathing comedy of many errors”

Published by Booklist, October 2018
“Farid Abu Shaar, a young man earnestly convinced of his own (unproven) literary genius, seeks a publisher for his red-notebook manuscript, The Book to Come. His publication attempts with Beirut’s publishing houses prove futile: “No one reads,” one publisher insists. Although his Karam Brothers Press visit doesn’t lead to publication, he begrudgingly accepts a job as Arabic-language proofreader.

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[27 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 20 views]
L’Express reviews Yazbek’s Blue pen “words can build a better world and repel ugliness”

Published by L’Express. September 26 2018.
She understands French, but prefers to speak in Arabic. For fear of losing her tongue: “It would be a double exile”, explains Samar Yazbek with a serious smile, refugee in France since the summer of 2011. For having participated in the revolt against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, this secular intellectual and democratic has become a prey for extremists of all stripes. “And I would feel even more guilty,” she continues.

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[27 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 48 views]
Le Monde reviews The Blue Pen and the “grace” of Samar Yazbek

Published by Le Monde, September 27, 2018. By Eglal Errera.
Also featured in Le Monde des Livres.
Among all the works that come to us from Syria or from the diaspora, this novel has a unique timbre that mixes absolute realism and wonder.

Venturing into what is most intimate, Yazbek returns to the novel, her original vocation (Cinnamon, Buchet-Chastel, 2013). Amongst all the works that come to us from Syria or from the diaspora, this novel has a unique timbre that mixes absolute realism to wonder. Rima, the narrator of La Marcheuse (The blue pen), is silent. She hears the sound of her …

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[24 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 12 views]
Forlagsliv asks: Did Samar Yazbek write our most important novel?

Published by Forlagsliv, May 9, 2018

Samar Yazbek’s new novel, The Blue Pen, gives a unique insight into everyday life in civil-war Syria.