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[10 Jul 2019 | No Comment | 4 views]
NPR features Sinan Antoon’s “Index” (aka The book of collateral damage)

Bo Hamby and Simone Popperl produced and edited this interview for broadcast at NPR. Patrick Jarenwattananon adapted it for the Web.
The novelist and poet Sinan Antoon grew up in Baghdad, Iraq — a city that’s known many years of sorrow.
He was born to an Iraqi father and an American mother, and lived there until 1991. That was the year of the first U.S. invasion of Iraq, when he hid in the basement of a restaurant as U.S. bombs fell.
Antoon later moved to New York. But after the United States bombed …

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[27 Jun 2019 | No Comment | 8 views]
New York Review of Books draws the portrait of playwright Saadallah Wannous, as “Sentence to hope: A Saadallah Wannous reader” gets published by Yale University Press – Truly inspiring read

“Coup de Théatre”, by Ursula Lindsey, for The New York Review of Books, June 26, 2019
In the spring of 1967, Sa’dallah Wannous, a young Syrian journalist and playwright, was studying theater at the Sorbonne in Paris. That June, after Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, it gained control of Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Sinai; about 100,000 Syrians were driven from the Golan Heights, which Israel still holds today. It is hard to overstate the psychic and political shock of this turn of events in …

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[23 Jun 2019 | No Comment | 48 views]
New York Times reviews Elias Khoury’s My name is Adam “Powerful” “extraordinary book” that “gives us a glimpse of the unspeakable”

By Isabella Hammad, for The New York Times, June 22, 2019
Adam Dannoun, the protagonist of Elias Khoury’s powerful new novel, calls himself a child of the ghetto. He does not mean the Warsaw ghetto — although, growing up in the newly established state of Israel, he allows his university colleagues to make that assumption. He means the “ghetto” of the Palestinian town of Lydda, created by Jewish forces who uprooted tens of thousands of Palestinians on a death march in one of the bloodiest massacres of the 1948 Nakba. (That …

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[19 Jun 2019 | No Comment | 20 views]
“Intense sense of heartbreak” – Sinan Antoon’s “The book of collateral damage is out with Yale University Press

Published by Arab News, June 18th
Out of Baghdad comes “The Book of Collateral Damage” (Fihris, or Index), by internationally celebrated author Sinan Antoon, whose fourth novel follows the life of introspective academic Nameer Al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi living in the US. An encounter in Baghdad with an eccentric bookseller while travelling with documentary filmmakers as a translator leads Nameer to a manuscript that forces him to explore memories of the past, the loss of his home and the destruction caused by war.

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[27 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 59 views]
“Masterly” – The New York Times Review of Books about Khaled Khalifa’s “Death is hard work”

A review by Elliot Ackerman for The New York Times Review of Books, published February 26th, 2019
How many times can you read about barrel bombs falling on civilians in Aleppo or Islamic State execution squads or sarin gas attacks before the sheer quantity of incidents denudes each of meaning? The facts, devoid of a narrative, lose their weight. That’s the power of mass violence: its ability to transform specific loss into general loss, numbing our collective consciousness. This is why novelists like Khalifa are so critical in these times. They …

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[26 Feb 2019 | No Comment | 81 views]
Elias Khoury’s My name is Adam “a masterpiece of structure, vision, and imagination” – Los Angeles Review of Books

Interview by Tom Zoellner, for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Published February 18th, 2019
ELIAS KHOURY MIGHT BE the Lebanese version of what James Michener is to the United States, or Carlos Fuentes is to Mexico— a big-hitting novelist who aims not merely for the human heart but also for the soul of a nation. His latest book, My Name Is Adam, is the first volume of a projected trilogy about the nakba — the Arabic term for the forced removal of Palestinians from the newborn state of Israel in 1948. The protagonist …