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[12 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 17 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 | 21 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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[18 Dec 2018 | No Comment | 40 views]
World Literature Today lists Jabbour Douaihy’s “Printed in Beirut” and Najla Jraissati Khoury’s “Pearls on a branch” among the must reads of 2018 English translations

Published by World Literature Today, December 2018.
As the year’s news of rising nationalistic strains and attacks against the press continued, the urgent need for translation became ever more apparent. More and more, translation across borders embodies resistance. Honoring all those who take part in this important work, we again offer 75 of the year’s English literary translations.
 
 

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[11 Nov 2018 | No Comment | 29 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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[24 Oct 2018 | No Comment | 28 views]
Douaihy’s “Printed in Beirut” in the Midwest book review: “Exquisite irony”

Published by Midwest Book Review, October 2018
Farid Abou Char arrives in Beirut on a hot summer morning with his manuscript, looking for a publisher. He is turned down by all of them; nobody reads anymore, he is told. Instead, he accepts a job as a proofreader at the famous old print house Karam Bros., allegedly established in 1908. Disappointed by the menial tasks of checking catalogs and ad copy, Farid secretly hopes that his book will eventually be published.

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[22 Oct 2018 | No Comment | 29 views]
Booklist reviews Jabbour Douaihy’s “Printed in Beirut” – “scathing comedy of many errors”

Published by Booklist, October 2018
“Farid Abu Shaar, a young man earnestly convinced of his own (unproven) literary genius, seeks a publisher for his red-notebook manuscript, The Book to Come. His publication attempts with Beirut’s publishing houses prove futile: “No one reads,” one publisher insists. Although his Karam Brothers Press visit doesn’t lead to publication, he begrudgingly accepts a job as Arabic-language proofreader.