Where the Bird Disappeared

Ghassan Zaqtan

Translated by Samuel Wilder


5 x 8 inches, 104 pp. March 2018

ISBN : 9780857425423

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This lyrical novel, set in the surroundings of the Palestinian village of Zakariyya, weaves a narrative rich in sensory detail yet troubled by the porousness of memory. It tells the story of the relationship between two figures of deep mythical resonance in the region, Yahya and Zakariyya, figures who live in the present but bear the names—and many traits—of two saints. Ranging from today into back to pre-1948 Palestine, the book presents both a compelling portrait of a contemporary village and a sacred geography that lies beyond and beneath the present state of the world. Sensual, rich in allusion, yet at the same time focused on the struggles of today, Where the Bird Disappeared is a powerful novel of both connection and dispossession.

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


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

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