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Death Is Hard Work

Death Is Hard Work

Last 1 in stock
ISBN
9780571346042
Published
07/03/2019
9780571346042
Format
Paperback
Price
£12.99
Paperback
192

About the Book

A FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS IN TRANSLATED LITERATURE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE SAIF GHOBASH BANIPAL PRIZE

Abdel Latif, an old man, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. Before he dies, he tells his youngest son Bolbol that his final wish is to be buried in the family plot in their ancestral village of Anabiya in the Aleppo region. Though Abdel Latif was not the ideal father, and though Bolbol is estranged from his siblings, he decides to persuade his older brother Hussein and his sister Fatima to accompany him and their father’s body to Anabiya – only a two-hour drive from Damascus.

But the country is a warzone. With the landscape of their childhood now a labyrinth of competing armies, whose actions are at once arbitrary and lethal, the siblings’ decision to set aside their differences and honour their father’s request quickly escalates from a dutiful commitment into an epic and life-threatening quest. Syria is no longer any place for heroes, and the trials that confront the family along their journey – while they are captured and recaptured, interrogated, imprisoned, and bombed – will prove to have enormous consequences for them all.

A mixture of brutal, front-line reportage and surreal humor evocative of Beckett and Kafka, Death is Hard Work is an unforgettable journey into a contemporary heart of darkness.

A FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS IN TRANSLATED LITERATURESHORTLISTED FOR THE SAIF GHOBASH BANIPAL PRIZEAbdel Latif, an old man, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. Before he dies, he tells his youngest son Bolbol that his final wish is to be buried in the family plot in their ancestral village of Anabiya in the Aleppo region. Though Abdel Latif was not the ideal father, and though Bolbol is estranged from his siblings, he decides to persuade his older brother Hussein and his sister Fatima to accompany him and their father’s body to Anabiya – only a two-hour drive from Damascus.But the country is a warzone. With the landscape of their childhood now a labyrinth of competing armies, whose actions are at once arbitrary and lethal, the siblings’ decision to set aside their differences and honour their father’s request quickly escalates from a dutiful commitment into an epic and life-threatening quest. Syria is no longer any place for heroes, and the trials that confront the family along their journey – while they are captured and recaptured, interrogated, imprisoned, and bombed – will prove to have enormous consequences for them all.A mixture of brutal, front-line reportage and surreal humor evocative of Beckett and Kafka, Death is Hard Work is an unforgettable journey into a contemporary heart of darkness.
“The poetic and horrific combine in this tale of love and death set in a Syria torn apart by civil war . . . Khalifa is a soulful and perfectly unsentimental writer . . . The most amazing thing about this book is that it managed to exist, that it came to us out of the fire with its pages intact. It is robust in its doubts, humane in its gaze and gentle in its persistence.”
- Mohsin Hamid, Guardian
“Intensely readable . . . Wryly compelling . . . Death Is Hard Work may be Khalifa’s finest achievement yet, movingly conveying the fear, paranoia and hardships of life in an embattled police state.”
- Financial Times

Books by this Author

Fiction Death Is Hard Work

Death Is Hard Work

Khaled Khalifa