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Death Is Hard Work (Book) : Khalīfah, Khālid : A dogged, absurd quest through the nightmare of the Syrian civil war, Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria's ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. Death Is Hard Work (eBook) : Khalīfah, Khālid, 1964- : A dogged, absurd quest through the nightmare of the Syrian civil war Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria's ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. While the horrors of war is the back drop of this story, it is primarily a story about ordinary people trying to live their lives amidst the war. It takes place in present-day Syria and tells the story of three estranged siblings who come together to carry out their father's final wish. He decided that his father’s last request ought to apply to the rest of the family, too, not just Bolbol himself: everyone ought to be equally responsible for carrying out Abdel Latif’s last wish. Who would think simply taking a father's body to his home village should be so hard, after all - it's typically just a two-hour drive. Bolbol decided not to think too much about the gunfire he could hear. I’m embarrassed to say that this is my first book by Khalid Khalifa but it will certainly not be the last. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The build­ ing had been reduced to a shell in an air raid, leaving intact only the bedroom where his father had passed his last days of love with Nevine before leaving the town of S with the help of opposition fighters . Death Is Hard Work. That doesn’t necessarily mean the book put me to sleep. The city streets were a wasteland after eight in the evening, and he had to move the body tomorrow morning, after it was released and before midday. Customer service is our top priority! Both went quiet after this; the conversation was no longer on an even footing. Bolbol's father has just died in Damascus. Books . Entrancing in its own sparse, brutal way. Abdel Latif, an old man from the Aleppo region, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. Bolbol quickly reached an understanding with him and didn’t argue with the fare that he was quoted. Translator Leri Price is the amazing translator of author Khaled Khalifa’s new novel “Death is Hard Work.” This is a short novel, a mere 180 pages. Death Is Hard Work (Book) : Khalīfah, Khālid : A dogged, absurd quest through the nightmare of the Syrian civil war Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria's ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. See all 3 questions about Death Is Hard Work…, Anticipated Literary Reads For Readers of Color 2019, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, Death is Hard Work - Khaled Khalifa (4 stars), كتاب حزيران 2018 : الموت عمل شاقّ - خالد خليفة, A Young Adult Fiction Expert's Year of Spectacular Teen Reads. Footer Links I would have liked to understand her motivations and backstory more - but perhaps that says something about modern day Syria as well. Now his body was laid out on a metal stretcher in a public hos­pital. However, other female characters are more complete characters (mostly seen through the eyes of a male character). Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. let the dying man feel chat he has been abandoned. I am not sure whether the other reviewers and I came to the novel with different expectations, but for me the novel succeeded on multiple levels and was a five star read. The soldiers guarding the hospital waved him toward the nearby Deraa Station—he would find a taxi there. Death Is Hard Work: A Novel: Khalifa, Khaled, Price, Leri: 9780374135737: Books - Amazon.ca. But this was a different story. It is a civil war, and a proxy war. My days of teaching are taxing and this week was state testing which is somehow more exhausting than teaching. Khaled Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria’s ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. Refresh and try again. A simple trip to bury a father becomes a dangerous ordeal. Bolbol would never forget that scene. 31 Books in 30 Days: Mark Athitakis on Robert Christgau, What Eight Missing Manuscript Pages Can Tell Us About a 20th-Century Genocide. The best comparison from western lit would probably be “All Quiet on the Western Front” - heartbreaking and raw. He guessed that they were mostly taxi drivers trapped by the closure of various roads, waiting for dawn so they could go home. The translator has a colossal job of getting ideas and thought along with words from one culture to another. The brutal cruelty of the violence in Syria is the all too real world of this novel. I never would have known this were it not for the fact of the Faulkner class I'm taking, but this book takes the idea of As I Lay Dying and adapts it to 2013 Syria, as three siblings try to take their father's body to where he wanted to be buried. And all the while, the body is decaying. As supported by Ryan et al. Reluctantly, the three estranged siblings embark in a perilous drive through the Syrian tragic landscape. 2019-03-07. The poor and the rich, officers and infantry in the regime’s army, armed squadron commanders, regular soldiers, random passersby, and those who would remain forever anonymous: all were buried with the same pitiful pro­ cessions. The characters aren't exactly likable, but I found myself hoping that they find what they needed none the less. Khaled Khalifa studied law at Aleppo University and actively participated in the foundation of Copyright © 2019 by Leri Price. Um Kulthoum on the car radio—willing to take him. Death Is Hard Work is a tale of three people embarking on an absurd quest - an unforgettable journey into a contemporary heart of darkness. Never­theless, the man behaved honorably and didn’t drive away until he was sure that Bolbol was safe. Death Is Hard Work is a tale of three people embarking on an absurd quest - an unforgettable journey into a contemporary heart of darkness. Resolved to be silent in his last hours, he closed his eyes, ignoring the people around him, and sank  into  solitude with a smile. This is not an easy book, but it is an important book. A vivid picture of life and death in Syria, with thankfully fleshed out characters. This novel is set in that horribly, complicated situation. He told  From Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa, trans. There wouldn’t be room for his father at the local morgue for long. This novel, set in present day Syria, is my translated book for the month. There were mass graves everywhere filled with casualties who’d never even been identified. Yet, each sentence is complex and full of information and nuances that requires careful reading and rereading. Abdel Latif, an old man from the Aleppo region, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. When Bolbol left the hospital, it was almost two o’clock in the morning. It's two hours away and without thinking Bolbol agrees. Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria's ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. This book is about three siblings in modern day Syria trying to fulfill their father's dying wish to be buried in the town he grew up with, where is sister is buried. Abdel La­ tif’s eyes were gleaming as he tried and failed to raise his hand to wave to his comrades. Books . He considered these few words his last wish and added nothing that might render them the least bit ambiguous. Death Is Hard Work is a short book, but one learns more detail of the life of war than from a hundred newspaper and TV reports. Brilliant writing. Translated works can be cumbersome to read. With Death Is Hard Work, Khaled Khalifa has, intentionally or not, also laid claim to that title. Death Is Hard Work: A Novel: Khaled Khalifa, Leri Price - translator, Neil Shah, HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books: Amazon.fr: Livres The politics of the war are ignored. We’d love your help. The dying can’t wait to fling aside their burdens, the better to cross the barzakh—to the other side, where time has no value. . £12.99 12.99 GBP. Thanks to a fleeting moment of sentiment, Bolbol had promised to bury his father in the same grave as Bolbol’s aunt—whom he had never even met. Abdel Latif, an old man from the Aleppo region, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. He wants to be buried in the village he was born in. Abdel Latif, an old man from the Aleppo region, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. The following is from Leri Price's translation of Khaled Khalifa's novel, Death Is Hard Work. Our final moments in this life aren’t generally an appropriate time for clear-eyed reflection; indeed, they always find us at our most sentimental. Death Is Hard Work (Book) : Khalīfah, Khālid : FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR TRANSLATED LITERATURE A dogged, absurd quest through the nightmare of the Syrian civil war Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria's ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with … Khaled Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria’s ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. Having promised his dying father, Abdel Latif, that he will transport his body back to his hometown for burial, Bolbol enlists the help of his estranged brother Hussein and sister Fatima to carry out Abdel Latif’s wishes. He was exhausted and starving, having lost more than half his body weight; like everyone living under the siege, he hadn’t eaten a full meal in months. Maybe this was the wrong book at the wrong time. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Wonderfully difficult and humane. be done: finding a shroud, making the burial arrangements, fetching their sister, Fatima. Despite their character flaws, they take a dangerous journey to do what they felt they needed to do for a father that they were not particularly close to. rich: death was no longer a carnival people threw in order to dem­ onstrate their wealth and prestige. His father had been im­maculate when the fighters brought him to Damascus from the besieged S; it was clear that they had taken good care of their comrade, this man who’d chosen to stay with them through more than three years of siege. Khaled Khalifa . This helps fortify his work against glib resolutions and make it more wildly ready for life’s raw light and that unrelenting human desire to live it. Our final moments in this life aren’t generally an appropriate time for clear-eyed reflection; indeed, they always find us at our most sentimental. Peace and deliberation are required for reviewing the past and settling our accounts—and these are practices chat chose approaching death rarely cake the time to do. Bolbol felt himself become lighter and braver, his worries lift­ ing away. Khalifa … Death is Hard Work is acutely disturbing in its depiction of the Syrian war and its traumatizing psychological effects on Syrian survivors, seen through the microcosm of one family’s past, present and future. I never would have known this were it not for the fact of the Faulkner class I'm taking, but this book takes the idea of As I Lay Dying and adapts it to 2013 Syria, as three siblings try to take their father's body to where he wanted to be buried. Abdel Latif, a man from the Aleppo region dies from old age, a rare feat in war torn Syria. Longlisted for Best Translated Book Award 2020, This novel is a gorgeous meditation on death, grief, family, and war. Bolbol was confident in his brother’s ability to manage this sort of situation. The dying can’t wait to fling aside their burdens, the better, Bolbol, later, regretted not having stood up to his father. He looked for a taxi to take him to his brother’s house after successive attempts to phone him had failed. This body would be big trouble. Shop with confidence on eBay! They bade him an affectionate farewell, kissed him warmly, and saluted him. The trio have to maneuver through areas controlled by both sides of th. And then it’s equally natural for the person, put on a cheerful front, as Bolbol was doing, so as not. Format Paperback Price £12.99. Abdel Latif, an old man from the Aleppo region, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. Major themes of death and the inexorable dehumanizing effects of war on an entire population were only to be expected in a chronicle of the Syrian civil war. Khaled Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria’s ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. Shenanigans ensue and things get pretty bleak. The only problem: the country is a war zone. Start by marking “Death Is Hard Work” as Want to Read: Error rating book. He no longer cared that Hussein had completely ignored their father when Abdel Latif was in the hospital; the important thing was that Hussein wouldn’t follow this up by abandoning him now. Hussein opened the door, and when he saw Bolbol standing there at that time of the morning, he knew what had happened. The build­ ing had been reduced to a shell in an air raid, leaving intact only the bedroom where his father had passed his last days of love with Nevine before leaving the town of S with the help of opposition fighters . He hugged his brother affectionately, led him inside, and made him some tea. Each and every character is richly fleshed out from beginning to end, and they come across as actual people right in front of you rather than characters on a page in a book. It seems like it wouldn't take very long since essentially, the main plot of the book is this sibling trio taking their father's body to a town 2.5 hours away that'll take a bit longer due to the ongoing civil war in Syria. For the first time, everyone was truly equal in death. This book is one of the most quietly devastating things I've read in a long time. At a hospital in Damascus, Syria, Abdel Latif's final wish is to be buried in the family plot near Aleppo - just a two-hour drive away. In fact, it could be the Syrian version of Faulkner's. There were mass graves everywhere filled with casualties who’d never even been identified. He wants to be buried in the village he was born in. Thanks to a fleeting moment of sentiment, Bolbol had promised to bury his father in the same grave as Bolbol’s aunt—whom he had never even met. Abdel Latif, dying peacefully in a hospital in Damascus, expresses his last wish to be buried in his family's plot in their ancestral village of Anabiya. Last 1 in stock. He remembered how his eyes shone at chat moment, how his heart had thudded, how his knees trembled, how he carried her. by Leri Price ©2019. They didn’t talk at first, but after a few minutes Bolbol wanted to try and exorcise his fear. His final wish, conveyed to his youngest son, Bolbol, is to be buried in the … But this simple promise is complicated by the fact that they are in Syria in the midst of a civil war, and the trip that they optimistically believe will take a day soon becomes a nightmarish odyssey where they are detained, questioned, bombed and imprisoned—all while their fat. Try. Skip to main content.ca Hello, Sign in. He asked if Bolbol wanted. In Khaled Khalifa's. Leri Price, who has translated Khalifa before, is alive and faithful to the Syrian’s unadorned and direct prose, sentences that often … Category: Fiction. The last glimmer of his courage had almost flickered out by the time he found a taxi driver—listening serenely to Um Kulthoum on the car radio—willing to take him. pubg.queue.push(function(){insertAd(document.getElementById('pubg-b1j-ro6-b7'),"pubg-b1j-ro6");}); No, lasted more than a few hours now, even for the. February 12th 2019 . Rites and rituals meant nothing now. 4 reviews. Read this masterful book. . . He had thought that his father would ask for some sort of precautionary guarantee of Nevine’s rights to the family home, seeing as they had married only recently. This book is about three siblings in modern day Syria trying to fulfill their father's dying wish to be buried in the town he grew up with, where is sister is buried. Translator Leri Price is the amazing translator of author Khaled Khalifa’s new novel “Death is Hard Work.” This is a short novel, a mere 180 pages. He should have reminded his father how difficult it would be to carry out his instructions given the current situation. This odyssey with a rotting corpse reminded me of Kafka and some of the old existentialist novels, like. The book didn't really take sides in the conflict, although you do know where the characters' (and perhaps the author's) sympathies lie, rather it presents a country torn up and devastated by the violence of war and how that takes a toll on the people who live there. But the journey through countless checkpoints, delays due to shelling on the road ahead, and detainment by a myriad of armies from foreign countries drags the journey out over days. About the Book. He thought of Nevine: her smile, her scent, her naked body wrapped in a black abaya as she tried to float like the butterflies they were collecting. They didn’t talk at first, but after a few minutes Bolbol wanted to try and exorcise his fear. It’s almost a manual of what it is like to live in a dystopian society that is disintegrating while we watch. I know nothing of the country, but Khalifa articulates here a sharp and very harsh world with fantastic complexity and doubt, and if it's one of which I shudder to think. I am thinking this may be one of my top ten this year and as such I want to fill the review with superlatives reflecting my enjoyment. It relates to three siblings trying to get their father’s body back to his hometown for burial. Bolbol, in a rare moment of courage, under the influence of his father’s parting words and sad, misted eyes, acted firmly and with­ out fear. Eye opening. The fighters are blank, faceless, men. The Arabic culture is different in many ways from American culture. Abdel Latif, an old man, dies … Hussein had meandered around among several professions before taking a job as a minibus driver, and if nothing else this meant he’d gained considerable experience dealing with the state bureaucracy, and he had contacts all over the place. Death Is Hard Work: Khalifa, Khaled: 9780571346059: Books - Amazon.ca. Death Is Hard Work (Book) : Khalīfah, Khālid : A dogged, absurd quest through the nightmare of the Syrian civil war Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work is the new novel from the greatest chronicler of Syria's ongoing and catastrophic civil war: a tale of three ordinary people facing down the stuff of nightmares armed with little more than simple determination. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include cdrom or access codes. With this technique the author coaches into reality … He promised his father he would carry out his instructions, which—despite their, be weak and make impossible requests. the driver that his father had died an hour ago in the hospital, of old age. There’s no room left in them for rational thought, because time itself has solidified and expanded inside them like water becoming ice. The mind-smashing and relentless, careless depravity and degradation of all that makes us human is on display here, somewhat diffused through the lens of art. Notwithstanding its title, his fifth novel is more about life than death. With­out delay, Hussein dismantled the two seats immediately behind the driver’s and rearranged them to form a shelf for the body to lie on. This is Syria, a country being destroyed by its government's attacks on its own citizens. He promised his father he would carry out his instructions, which—despite their  clarity and simplicity—would hardly be easy work. 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