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[12 May 2019 | No Comment | 42 views]
The Guardian “Death is hard work” is “robust in its doubts, humane in its gaze and gentle in its persistence”

A review by Hisham Matar, for The Guardian, May 11th, 2019
Set three years into the Syrian civil war, the novel’s plot is compellingly simple. Bolbol, the deeply sensitive and conflicted protagonist, has just lost his father. He gathers his two older siblings, Hussein and Fatima, to help him honour their father’s last wish – to be buried in Anabiya, the family’s ancestral village, about 350km north of Damascus. Ordinarily, the journey would take under five hours; if it weren’t for the sad occasion it would be a pleasurable drive, with …

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[1 May 2019 | No Comment | 55 views]
Toute la Culture on The frightened: “Impressive” “Incandescent writing” “Luminous”

Review by Jerome Avenas, for Toute la Culture, April 29th, 2019
Published by Éditions Gallimard in the collection “Du monde entier”, the novel by Dima Wannous, a Syrian writer born in 1982, is an impressive text on the trauma of war, memory and writing. An urgent read.
A man and a young woman meet in the waiting room of a psychiatrist under the eye of Layla, the medical secretary. Sulayma and Nassim consult for anxiety disorders: anxiety, panic attacks, self-mutilation but especially “fear of fear”, insidious and vertiginous disease which is the “fear of having …

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[1 May 2019 | No Comment | 31 views]
“The frightened” – “With its carnal precision, an immense novel about human fear” – La Viduité

April 2019, La Viduite.
The fear of fear, the vertiginous duplication of fiction, a story that merges with a reality whose unbearable horror is then revealed. By dipping into the psyche of a disturbed woman, by the exact restitution of her obsessions and gestures, Dima Wannous manages to draw a sadly faithful portrait of contemporary Syria. With its carnal precision, “The frightened” appears like an immense novel about human fear and mechanisms of defense.

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[1 May 2019 | No Comment | 30 views]
“A tortured novel” – Livres Hebdo, Dima Wannous’ “The frightened”

Review by Kerenn Elkaïm for Livres Hebdo, April 2019
« La mémoire, soit elle existe, soit elle n ‘existe pas. Soit tu te réconcilies avec elle, soit tu t’en détournes. » Sulayma ne parvient pas à la chasser. Elle songe à Nissim, « ce jeune homme étrange aux os protubérants. » L’héroïne le croise dans un lieu improbable, la salle d’attente de leur psy.

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[23 Apr 2019 | No Comment | 63 views]
Hoda Barakat’s “Night Post” is the winner of the International Prize of Arabic Fiction (IPAF) 2019

The 12th edition of IPAF ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, on April 23rd, rewarded Hoda Barakat for her novel “Night Post”

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[23 Apr 2019 | No Comment | 46 views]
Douaihy’s “The king of India” shows that an Arab detective story is possible – or not

By Melhem Chaoul, for L’Orient littéraire, published April 2019.
Starting with the title, Malek al-Hind (The King of India): There are no kings (in that story), let alone Kings of the Indian peninsula. By this metaphor, Jabbour Douaihy signifies the absence of power, the absence of control over fate, such as the Viceroy of the Indies at the time of the British Empire who managed a state whose fate was decided elsewhere.
Zaccaria Mubarak’s destiny is thus fashioned, fluctuating like the “Raft of the Medusa” on the murky waters of countries and continents.
The novel begins …