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No Knives in the Kitchens of this City
by Khaled Khalifa
translated from the Arabic by Leri Price
“A sad but beautiful book, providing important human context to the escalating Syrian tragedy” – The Guardian
“. . . helps the foreign reader understand the suffering of the Syrian people without aiming at cheap emotional effect, but providing food for thought and an invitation to be ever more compassionate.” – Banipal 57 review
Set in the once beautiful city of Aleppo, the novel traces the descent of one Syrian family into tragedy and ruin, as their lives are plundered by a brutal regime. Set between the 1960s and 2000s, the novel unravels the systems of fear and control in operation in Syria. Through the eyes of the unnamed narrator, the reader learns the story of the narrator’s siblings, mother and uncle. The novel deals with topical and taboo subjects such as disability, homosexuality, mental illness, Islamic fundamentalism and oppression.
No Knives in the Kitchens of this City was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2013 and was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2014.
• Read an extract from the novel here: http://hoopoefiction.com/wp-content/uploads/importdata/extracts/9789774167812.pdf
• The book club is informal and free to attend but spaces are limited so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place
• The BALMAL Library of Modern Arab Literature in English and English translation is a public lending library. Life membership is yours for a £10 one-off payment. For more information go to: http://www.arabbritishcentre.org.uk/what-we-offer/library-home/