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No One Prayed Over Their Graves

Khaled Khalifa
Translated by Leri Price

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

Critic Reviews

Khalifa is a soulful and perfectly unsentimental writer.

Hisham Matar

Khaled Khalifa was born in 1964, in a village close to Aleppo, Syria. He is the author of four novels, including In Praise of Hatred, which was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and No Knives in the Kitchens of this City, which won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2013. He lives in Damascus, a city…

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