'Mr Khoury's words tumble over the pages in enthralling but sometimes elusive prose. But it is all the more mesmerising for being so' The Economist.
'An Arab Spring of a very different sort' Tariq Ali, Guardian Books of the Year.
'Vivid and powerful ... Khoury's new novel provides unusually stimulating pleasure' Guy Mannes-Abbott, Independent.
'Khoury provides an insider's view of communities at the confluence of centuries of conflict between region, race and politics' Val Nolan, Irish Examiner.
--This text refers to the
From the Inside Flap
Meelya, a young Lebanese woman living in Nazareth with Mansour, her Palestinian husband, has always found refuge in sleep from events that threaten her or escape her comprehension. Past, present and future merge seamlessly in dreams so vivid as to eclipse her waking moments. And when Mansour's brother's death demands a move to Jaffa - an early flashpoint in tensions between Jewish settlers and displaced Palestinians - she withdraws further into her spiritual absence. Mansour fell for Meelya's beauty, but cannot fathom her ceaseless dreaming and restless wandering of Nazareth's streets. Expecting the birth of their son, he can only watch as she cuts loose from the physical world and, over three traumatic nights, dreams of episodes in the lives of her family - a grandmother who regains her virginity after childbirth, an uncle who accidentally hangs himself - and of the story of Youssef the Carpenter, Christ's foster father, who, unlike Abraham, could not save his son from the sacrificial altar. As Though She Were Sleeping follows the logic of dreams, weaving together stories whose meanings are gradually revealed, drawing the reader towards a conclusion that is powerfully symbolic of the ongoing troubles in the Middle East. Infusing his writing with the richness and beauty of Arabic poetry and evoking traditional patterns of oral narrative, Khoury has once again crafted a spellbinding and moving novel of great sensuality.