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[9 Oct 2019 | No Comment | 23 views]
National Book Award: Khaled Khalifa is a finalist with “Death is hard work”

The mission of the National Book Award is to “celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture”

The winner will be announced on November 20th.
 
Death is hard work has received a lot of praise (see below) in the various countries where it was published (see list of cessions below).
Bulbul’s father just passed away in a Damascus hospital. His last request to his son was to be buried in his hometown of Aannabiya, in the province of Aleppo.

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[18 Sep 2019 | No Comment | 13 views]
Khalifa’s “Death is hard work” is on the longlist of the 2019 National Book Award!

Khaled Khalifa’s “Death is hard work” is on the longlist of the National Book Award!
The shortlist will be announced on October 8th, and the winner on November 20th.
 
 
The book has received wonderful praise:
“Masterly”
The New York Review of Books
“Brilliant”   “Unforgettable”
Wall Street Journal 

“Astonishing”     “recalls Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying””   “The power of the novel — of all Khalifa’s novels — is that it unfolds within a human context”
Los Angeles Times

“Intensely readable” “wryly compelling”
Financial times

“Robust in its doubts, humane in its gaze and gentle in its persistence”
The Guardian

“Stunning”
Herald
“Compelling book. …

Press »

[13 May 2019 | No Comment | 25 views]
Khalifa’s “Death is hard work” is “intensely readable” “wryly compelling” – Financial Times

A review by Financial Times, May 10th 2019
Despite its relentlessly bleak subject matter, Death Is Hard Work is intensely readable. As the pages turn, one is impelled to keep up with the al-Salim siblings as they race against time…  

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[12 May 2019 | No Comment | 47 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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[20 Mar 2019 | No Comment | 20 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 | 28 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,”