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Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa review – searing Syrian road trip

The poetic and horrific combine in this tale of love and death set in a Syria torn apart by civil war

  • Hisham Matar
  • The Guardian

Recently, at a literary festival in Italy, the Syrian author Khaled Khalifa spoke about life in Damascus.

“Everyone has left, but a few stubborn souls like me remain. We cling to each other.”

Then his face lit up, which happened every time he was about to tell one of his signature anecdotes that mingle defiance with absurdity.

Harvard University offered him a highly lucrative fellowship.

A few days after arriving there, he began to suffer nightmares.

He decided to…

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