Describing the Past

Ghassan Zaqtan

Translated by Samuel Wilder


 

5 x 8, 80pp. July 2016

ISBN : 9780857423498


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When he was seven years old, Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan moved with his family to a Karameh refugee camp east of the River Jordan. That camp—a center of Palestinian resistance following the Six-Day War and the site of major devastation when Israel razed the camp following the Battle of Karameh in 1968—is the setting for Zaqtan’s first prose work to appear in English, Describing the Past.

This novella is a coming of age story, a tale of youth set amid the death and chaos of war and violence. It is an elegy for the loss of a childhood friend, and for childhood itself, brought back to life here as if dreams and memories have merged into a new state of being, an altered consciousness and way of being in and remembering the world.


Ghassan Zaqtan is a Palestinian poet, novelist, editor, and playwright.

 


Samuel Wilder is a translator, writer, and researcher of comparative poetics.

Fiction