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Articles tagged with: Death is hard work

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[20 Mar 2019 | No Comment | 6 views]
Herald reviews Khalifa’s “Death is hard work”: “Stunning”

The Herald, by Alastair Mabbott, published March 16th, 2019
In a Damascus hospital, Abdel Latif breathes his last, his dying wish that his body be laid to rest alongside his sister Layla in their hometown of Anabiya. Normally Anabiya would only be a two-hour drive away, but in a Syria devastated by war Abdel’s children Bobol, Hussein and Fatima face an uncertain journey, with no idea what obstacles and dangers might lie in wait.

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[26 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 15 views]
The National: In conversation with Khalifa about “Death is hard work”

Review by Olivia Snaije, for The National, February 25th, 2019

Khalifa, who lives in ­Damascus and has remained in Syria throughout the war, tells The National that the inspiration for his novel came from a personal experience. “In 2013, I had a heart attack and I was in the hospital and I thought about what would happen to me and my family if I died,”

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[12 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 30 views]
Wall Street Journal reviews Khalifa’s “Death is hard work”: “Brilliant” and “Unforgettable”

A review by Sam Sacks, for the Wall Street Journal, Februay
Khaled Khalifa’s “Death Is Hard Work” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 180 pages, $25) begins with an old man’s dying wish: that his children bury him in the family plot in the town of his birth, a few hundred kilometers from the capital. It might be a reasonable request in normal times, but this is contemporary Syria, where to walk to the market is to risk being killed. “Better to tend to the dead,” the man’s son Bolbol decides in resignation; “after all, …

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[10 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 32 views]
Los Angeles Times reviews Khaled Khalifa’s “astonishing new novel”, Death is hard work

A review by David Ulin for the Los Angeles Times, February 8th, 2019
“If you really want to erase or distort a story,” Khaled Khalifa declares in his astonishing new novel “Death Is Hard Work,” “you should turn it into several different stories with different endings and plenty of incidental details.” He’s referring to the salutary comforts of narrative. This — or so we like to reassure ourselves — is one reason we turn to literature: as a balm, an expression of the bonds that bring us together, rather than the …

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[11 Nov 2018 | No Comment | 35 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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[19 Jun 2018 | No Comment | 63 views]
Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work is “a compelling book”

Published by Neue Zürcher Zeitung, May 11, 2018

In a night-black novel Khaled Khalifa carries the dreams of his homeland to the graveA man named Nightingale. He would have to be a singer and a lover fluttering through a scenario of magical realism or an old Oriental poem. Not one, however, to whom the concern for the corpse of his father, who is already decaying, gives the feeling that he is still a creature capable of being found with a little backbone, and not merely “jelly-mass.”