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[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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[17 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 260 views]
Yasmina Jraissati, RAYA The agency for Arabic literature, amongst the three finalists of the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019, Literary agents category

Yasmina Jraissati, RAYA, is among the three finalists of the London Book Fair International Excellency Awards 2019, in the Literary agents category. The winner will be announced in a ceremony at the London Book Fair, on Tuesday March 12th, 2019.
“The shortlist for The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019 has been announced, with USA leading the way with five nominations, closely followed by Brazil and India with three each – and 26 countries represented.
The awards, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association (PA), celebrate publishing success in seventeen categories, representing the best publishing …

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[5 Sep 2017 | No Comment | 183 views]
Shubbak interview with Najwa Bin Shatwan – Being a female author in Libya

Interview conducted by Nahla Al Agli for Shubbak festival’s blog, in July 2017.
An ugly shadow side of Libya’s history is that it was a slave market route for centuries under Ottoman rule, way before the Italian occupation and prior to Libya’s declared independence in 1951. Growing up in Libya, children might still hear stories from elders about the black maids who used to work in their household or about distant cousins in Africa who carry their same recognisable surnames.
There would be no elaboration on the reality of the trade that …

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[4 Sep 2017 | No Comment | 109 views]
Khaled Khalifa: “Living in a void: Life in Damascus after the exodus”

This piece is taken from Refugees Worldwide, an anthology of writing commissioned as part of a project run by the International Literature Festival Berlin. Published in The Guardian on August 22, 2017
My sister, whom I haven’t seen for more than two years, told me she was going to cross the sea in a rubber dinghy. She hung up, not wanting to hear what I thought. She merely said something profound and sentimental and entrusted her three children to my care in the event that she drowned. A few minutes later …