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Why You Should Read Salim Barakat’s Novel About Centaurs and Dictatorship

I would love to read this

In English!


And Other Stories’ Arabic book group is moving on to the second novel in its second cycle. This one is Salim Barakat’s كهوف هايدراهوداهوس , or The Caves of Hydrahodahose:

The-Caves-of-Hydrahodahose-300x478“Once again,” organizer Elisabeth Jaquette writes in a note to previous participants, “we’ll be reading the book in Arabic, and there will be an English sample. You can order The Caves of Hydrahodahose in Arabic from Neel Wa Furat here; or order a copy with Saqi Books if you’re in London. The novel has also been translated into French by Bayan Salman, and is available as Les Grottes de Haydrahodahus (Actes Sud, 2008).”

Barakat has been frustratingly unavailable in English, as Anne-Marie McManus noted in a recent Q&A about teaching Syrian literature:

…I was looking for English translations of work by Salim Barakat, one of Syria’s most respected novelists. All I could find was an excerpt from Jurists of…

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Hi, my name's Aisha and I am 24 years of age. I'm passionate about writing poetry. Sometimes, I don't know how to convey my thoughts in normal conversation but I can spin off a poem about what I am feeling in 5 minutes. Or less. Writing is my thing. Like it is a lot of people's 'thing' and sometimes the only 'thing' that is a sufficient outlet to stop us all from going crazy. There's a lot of pain and anxiety in my poems, but often relief, which I find hard to convey but manage to slip it in at the end with a reference from the Quran or a hadith. If you feel you recognise this same emotional attachment to words, then feel free to read my blog and do not hesitate to contact me, comment and subscribe! Peace, Aisha -a.K.a-

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