Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work longlisted for US translated literature awards

Mohammed Saad , Friday 20 Sep 2019

Al-Mawt Amal Shaq (Death Is Hard Work), published originally by Dar Al-Ain in Cairo in 2016

death is hard work
Death is Hard Work

Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa's novel Death Is Hard Work, translated by Leri Price, has been nominated for the 2019 US National Book Awards for Translated Literature.

Khalifa's novel has made the awards’ longlist alongside Naja Marie Aidt's “When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back: Carl’s Book," Eliane Brum's “The Collector of Leftover Souls: Field Notes on Brazil’s Everyday Insurrections,” and Nona Fernández's “Space Invaders,”Vigdis Hjorth's “Will and Testament.”

Death Is Hard Work, or Al-Mawt Amal Shaq, was originally published by Dar Al-Ain in Cairo in 2016.

The novel is about a family making their way to Damascus in a car which also carries a dead body, as the war rages outside.

Khalifa was born in Aleppo in 1964, and is best-known for his highly praised novel Fi Madih Al-Karahya (“In Praise of Hatred”).

He was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2013 for his novel La Sakakin fi Matabekh Hazehi Al-Madina (“No Knives in This City's Kitchens”).

The National Book Awards for Translated Literature began last year.

The shortlist will be announced on October 8 and the winners on November 20.


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