The Bobsphere blog reviews Barakat’s Voices of the Lost: “a one-of-a-kind novel”

14 March 2021 52 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

voices of the LostBy Bobsphere, February 16, 2021

Hoda Barakat’s novel, Voices of the Lost manages to pull off quite a feat. This is a novel about war, it is a political novel. It is also a novel about love, ranging from filial to romantic, abuse, trauma, , fatherhood, motherhood it’s all in there. Like a piece of tapestry this novel weaves in themes, which create multi-layered result.

The book takes the form of letters written by strangers. In some cases there is a tiny bit of cross referencing. However, each letter has it’s own theme, yet enveloped by a major one. Whether it is a lover questioning his right to fatherhood or a son confessing about a love affair, there is an onrush of emotions, the majority of them traumatic (…)

Barakat does not stop with letters though, there’s two further parts in the book which is a continuation of the strangers destinies as one may guess, these characters ends varies.

Sometimes unsettling, cerebral Voices of the Lost is a one of a kind novel (…). Marilyn Booth’s translation (…)  is fantastic and captures the emotions of all the characters. Having won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, I would not be surprised to see it garner more awards this year.

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