No One Prayed Over Their Graves

Khaled Khalifa     Recommended by Brock    

‘A soulful and perfectly unsentimental writer…’ – MOHSIN HAMID

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┬áis 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.

Khaled Khalifa was born in 1964 in a village close to Aleppo, Syria. He has written numerous screenplays and is the author of several novels, including Death is Hard Work, which won the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation and was a finalist for the National Book Awards. In Praise of Hatred, which was shortlisted for IPAF in 2008, longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2013 and has been translated into several languages. He lives in Damascus, a city he has refused to abandon despite the danger posed by the ongoing Syrian civil war.Leri Price is the translator of Khaled Khalifa’s In Praise of Hatred and No Knives in the Kitchens of This City, as well as the prize-winning Death is Hard Work, for which she is the recipient of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

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