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An Old Carriage with Curtains (The Arab List)

An Old Carriage with Curtains (The Arab List)

Current price: $21.00
Publication Date: March 13th, 2024
Seagull Books
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The concluding novel in a trilogy that has become a landmark of Palestinian fiction.

An Old Carriage with Curtains is the third and final book in a masterful trilogy of novels encompassing the history of the people of the Palestinian village of Zakariyya. The novels trace the wandering trajectories and inner lives of characters connected to this village across decades, as well as the vicissitudes of historical change and displacement in the land. Through the return of a middle-aged man to the site of an ancient monastery in the hills near Jericho that he once visited as a boy, the incredibly vivid and surprising stories of Hind, a stage actress and brilliant storyteller, the stories of tortuous routes of checkpoints and bureaucratic blockages, and decades of Occupation, Zaqtan creates a narrative of personal reckoning and reflection.

The vectors of memory and historical reflection interweave in this dreamlike narrative, which delivers a singularly powerful depiction of subjective and collective experience in the face of devastating and sweeping historical change.

About the Author

Ghassan Zaqtan is the author of numerous collections of poetry, a novel, and a play, The Narrow Sea, which was honored at the 1994 Cairo Festival. His verse collection Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, translated by Fady Joudah, was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2013, and he was nominated for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in both 2014 and 2016. Samuel Wilder is a translator of Arabic literature, a writer, and a student of comparative poetics. Since 2006, he has lived and worked as a literary translator in Cairo and Beirut, and pursued academic work in London and Cambridge. 

Praise for An Old Carriage with Curtains (The Arab List)

"A poignant piece of autofiction. . . It addresses the constricted past and present of Palestinian life in Area C of the West Bank, with its omnipresent permits and checkpoints, through storylines that channel the ghosts of Zaqtan’s family, friends, and lovers, acknowledged at the beginning of the novel as the narrator is walking in the 'valley of the shadow of death,' in the wadi on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho."
— The Markaz Review