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This series is designed to bring to North American readers the once-unheard voices of writers who have achieved wide acclaim at home, but are not recognized beyond the borders of their native lands. With special emphasis on women writers, Interlink's Emerging Voices series publishes the best of the world's contemporary literature in translation or original English.
A novel about the most catastrophic year in Palestinian history. Yakhlif tenderly gathers all the town folk, the soldiers of the beleaguered army, the animals and the natural world into his tale, which makes it all the more powerful a lament for a world that is no more.
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Arabic
Sad, detailed and enlightening, this Palestinian writer's first work to appear in English covers events in the lakeside village of Samakh during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Yakhlif's chronicle (published in Arabic in 1991), opens by evoking prewar village life, exploring Samakh's terrain and its residents' daily routines on the day a British soldier offers to sell a bulletproof vest to young Radi while his uncle is away from the shop. The vest and its eventual wearer, Najib, soon go off to war, where an Iraqi poet in Najib's battalion takes over the narrative; the poet tells of yet another soldier and his struggle to win the heart of his hometown love. Yakhlif switches points of view frequently (at one point, he entrusts his story to Radi's dog); he aims less to build a plot than to depict, via anecdote and description, a Palestinian village as war destroys it and drives its inhabitants into exile. The very readable English of translators Jayyusi and Tingley evokes sometimes Hemingway, sometimes folktales; its simplicity plays against Yakhlif's bounty of facts. Like the Palestinians' real-life history, this book lacks a satisfying ending: will the soldier find his beloved, the poet get home, or the people of Samakh ever reunite? Yakhlif's meticulous picture of mid-century Palestine (down to lists of fish and plants) helps him evoke the distress of the events Palestinians still call "the disaster"; if Yakhlif's most sympathetic Anglophone readers may still find his plot diffuse, or undramatic, his skilled depictions will more than compensate. (June) FYI: This book is part of the Emerging Voices series: international fiction from writers who are known in their homelands but not abroad.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Interlink Pub Group Inc, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1566563011
Book Description Interlink Pub Group Inc, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # MB00YTJ5E6S
Book Description Interlink Publishing Group, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised. Seller Inventory # DADAX1566563011
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