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Passage to Dusk (CMES Modern Middle East Literatures in Translation) Paperback – 1 Aug 2001
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"This novel would be on my list of the ten Arabic novels published within the last two decades or so that any student of modern Arabic literature should be familiar with." -Anton Shammas
About the Author
Author of some ten novels in Arabic, al-Daif lives in Beirut. Nirvana Tanoukhi, a graduate student in comparative literature at the University of Texas at Austin, has a master's degree in literary translation from the University of Arkansas. Anton Shammas, a distinguished author, critic, and professor at the University of Michigan, has written the introduction to the novel.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 2 reviews
One person found this helpful.
A Drama of Proximity set in Lebanon during its Civil War (1975-1990)
on 3 February 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
This is a beautiful novel from Lebanon set during the decades of the Lebanese civil war. It depicts the traumatic interior life of a narrator (who happens to be a Christian) shown as he struggles to overcome the walls of partition erected by a prolonged civil war between religious groups that have been alienated from each other as humans, and who are increasingly alienated from their own baseline humanity as a consequence. We watch the protagonist long for dialogue, despite the odds, then watch him wavering when it comes to making that leap of faith needed to enter a real exchange with others. Among these: an old friend whose Muslim background is a sudden challenge to friendship after the war, a refugee from the country (a Muslim woman with a young son) who has taken temporary residence in his apartment, and the superintendent of his apartment building on whom the protagonist must rely for his safety despite seemingly worrisome signs. Daif's intense prose in this short and succinct novel brings to life the psychological stress of civil war as a drama of proximity, where characters interact as they must in an environment that has nearly eroded the foundations of trust and faith in good-will. The translation is successful, and the introduction provided has been written by a leading novelist from the author's region. The novel's ending is surprising, but makes sense in retrospect.
Daughter says not worth reading
on 9 May 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
(disclaimer: Since I didn't read this book, I am only relaying a teenager's critique.) My daughter was assigned this reading for Honors English. She said it was depressing and stupid...and couldn't believe it was assigned for Honors English. What she got out of it was Muslims are violent and mentally crazy.