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The Dance of the Deep-Blue Scorpion (The Arab List)

The Dance of the Deep-Blue Scorpion (The Arab List)

Current price: $21.00
Publication Date: November 22nd, 2021
Seagull Books
Special Order - Subject to Availability


An experimental novel that explores the complexity of Palestinian identity through extended metaphor and dark humor.

On a plastic chair in a parking lot in Ramallah sits a young man writing a novel, reflecting on his life: working in a dance club on the Israeli side of the border, scratching his father’s amputated leg, dreaming nightly of a haunting scorpion, witnessing the powerful aura of his mountain-lodging aunt. His work in progress is a meditation on absence, loss, and emptiness. He poses deep questions: What does it mean to exist? How can you confirm the existence of a place, a person, a limb? How do we engage with what is no longer there? Absurd at times, raw at others, The Dance of the Deep-Blue Scorpion explores Palestinian identity through Akram Musallam’s extended metaphors in the hope of transcending the loss of territory and erasure of history.

About the Author

Akram Musallam was born in Talfit near Nablus in the West Bank in 1972. He graduated from the department of letters and holds an MA in international studies from the University of Birzeit. He writes for the daily al-Ayyam and is the editor of the political quarterly al-Siyasa.

Sawad Hussain is an Arabic translator with an MA in Modern Arabic Literature from SOAS University of London.

Praise for The Dance of the Deep-Blue Scorpion (The Arab List)

"A highly original Palestinian novel."
— The Modern Novel

"An intricately woven and multi-layered narrative, where content and form are closely interconnected in a spiraling structure... by the end of the book we are thrown right back to the beginning by the force of its spiraling form and, like the characters of the stories told by the narrator, are left in desperate search to fill that emptiness left by loss... The result is simultaneously a novel that reflects some of the collective themes of the Palestinians — the collective loss, absence, and memory in this case — as well as a novel that expands beyond these limits and opens up to meanings that are universal and can be related to by every reader."
— The Markaz Review