No One Prayed Over Their Graves
A sweeping tale of life and death, set in the Syrian capital at the turn of the twentieth century.
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A sweeping tale of life and death, set in the Syrian capital at the turn of the twentieth century from the International prize winning author of Death is Hard Work and In Praise of Hatred.
“A soulful and perfectly unsentimental writer.” Hisham Matar
December, 1907: one morning after a night of drunken carousing in the city, Hanna and his friend Zakariya return home to their village near Aleppo—only to discover a scene of tragedy. A devastating flood has levelled their homes, shops and places of worship, and their neighbours, families and children are nearly all dead. Their lives will never be the same.
Tracing Hanna’s life before and after the flood—when he embarks on a search for the meaning of life—No One Prayed Over Their Graves is a portrait of a wider society on the verge of great change; from the provincial village to the burgeoning modernity of the city, where Christians, Muslims, and Jews live and work together, united in their love for Aleppo and their dreams for the future.
Translated from the Arabic by Leri Price
A soulful and perfectly unsentimental writer.
An exhilarating, intergenerational epic investigating the human condition, carnal desires, death,
and community amongst political and religious upheaval . . . Khalifa’s poetic prose is dynamic
and passionate as he imagines multiple characters' lives, love stories, and psyches against the
backdrop of Syria’s complex and traumatic history, which continues to transcend into modern
Khalifa’s galloping narrative restores life and soul to a city that has become a byword for devastation. Leri Price has produced an English text of grace, pace and gusto. Aleppo’s “immortal” monuments may have been bombed to rubble, but, thanks to Khaled Khalifa, those “great stories” endure.
A vast, sprawling saga that depicts, among other things, the birth pangs of modern Syria.
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