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[15 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 99 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 …

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[27 Sep 2016 | No Comment | 126 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 | 129 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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[26 Sep 2016 | No Comment | 70 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 | 121 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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[3 May 2016 | No Comment | 106 views]
Hoda Barakat to Corriere della sera: “Intellectuals have abdicated”

Hoda Barakat was a guest of Chiasso Letteraria 2016: Seconda classe, in Italy, and was interviewed by Stefano Montefiori, for La Lettura, Corriere della Sera, April 24th, 2016. Below, excerpts of a summary of this conversation, published on the blog imago 2.0.
Hoda Barakat, a Lebanese writer, after a period of great participation in events and discussions on the Arab world and its alleged features, decided to thin out her appearances in public, especially in the literary events currently focusing on the relationship between Europe and Islam in her second home, France.