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[13 May 2019 | No Comment | 20 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 | 44 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 | 18 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 | 24 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 | 35 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 | 40 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 …