As Though She Were Sleeping

Overview

Praise for Elias Khoury's New York Times Notable Book Gate of the Sun:

"An imposingly rich and realistic novel, a genuine masterwork."—The New York Times Book Review

"The beautiful, resilient city of Beirut belongs to Khoury." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

Milia's eyelashes drew apart, her eyes still curtained in drowsiness. She made up her mind to close them again and ...

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As Though She Were Sleeping

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Overview

Praise for Elias Khoury's New York Times Notable Book Gate of the Sun:

"An imposingly rich and realistic novel, a genuine masterwork."—The New York Times Book Review

"The beautiful, resilient city of Beirut belongs to Khoury." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

Milia's eyelashes drew apart, her eyes still curtained in drowsiness. She made up her mind to close them again and return to her dream. She saw a small white candle whose wan light trembled and flickered in the fog. . .

Milia's response to her new husband Mansour and to the Middle East of 1947 is to close her eyes and drift into parallel worlds where identities shift, where she can converse with the dead and foresee the future. As the novel progresses, Milia's dreams become more navigable than the strange and obstinate "reality" in which she finds herself, and the two worlds grow ever more entangled.

Elias Khoury, born in Beirut in 1948, is a novelist, essayist, playwright, and critic. He was awarded the Palestine Prize for Gate of the Sun, which was named a Best Book of the Year by Le Monde Diplomatique, The Christian Science Monitor, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and a Notable Book by The New York Times and The Kansas City Star. Archipelago Books also published Khoury's Yalo in 2008 and his White Masks in 2010.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
An enchanting hymn to the Middle East, infused with the richness and beauty of classical Arabic poetry. —The Guardian

Elias Khoury's latest novel returns to a golden age. Beirut in the 30s, unoccupied Palestine and a love affair recalled through a set of dream sequences: an Arab spring of a very different sort. —Tariq Ali, The Independent

Enthralling . . . Mesmerizing. —The Economist

Praise for NY Times Notable Book Gate of The Sun:

An imposingly rich and realistic novel, a genuine masterwork. —The New York Times Book Review

Humanity and compassion give this rich and teeming narrative its shape, creating a work that in its essence is a heartfelt plea for sanity and peace. —The Christian Science Monitor

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935744023
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Elias Khoury, born in Beirut in 1948, is a novelist, essayist, and playwright. He was awarded the Palestine Prize for Gate of the Sun, which was named a Book of the Year by Le Monde Diplomatique and a Notable Book by The New York Times. Archipelago published Khoury’s Yalo in 2008 and his White Masks in 2010.

Marilyn Booth: Marilyn Booth has received fellowships from the NEH, Fulbright, and Mellon Foundation and has been awarded the American Association Teachers of Arabic (AATA) and Arkansas University Press Translation Prizes. She has translated works by Hamdi Abu Golayyel, Alia Mamdouh, and Hoda Barakat. Booth is a professor at the University of Edinburgh.

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Read an Excerpt

Milia’s eyelashes drew apart over eyes still curtained in drowsiness. She would just close them again, she decided; she would pick up the trail of her dream. She saw a small white candle giving off a wan light that trembled and flickered through the fog. His fist closed tightly around the candle, Mansour walked ahead directly in front of the taxi, the wind buf- feting his long overcoat, but she could not make out her husband’s features clearly. She reached for the glass of water that she kept habitually on the bedside table but found no glass there. She was thirsty. The dryness diffused along her tongue and broke against the roof of her mouth and down her throat. She dragged her left arm out from beneath her head on the pillow to arrest the numbness creeping from her upper arm toward her neck. She turned over in bed, and over again, and then lay finally still on her back. She put out her hand for the glass of water and found no table there. She shud- dered, jerked upright, and suddenly found herself sitting against a wooden headboard. Where had it gone, that familiar white wall against which she propped her head? She could always sense the peeling white paint crack- ing and splintering beneath her long hair, even commingling with it as she rested her head on the wall. She pressed her arms to her chest, just touching the warm skin of her breasts. Suddenly she was afraid and the coldness of

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