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The Stone of Laughter

by Hoda Barakat

Set in war-ravaged Beirut, this is the story of Khalid – a man drained of morality. The cynical observations make this a challenging read – but if you are prepared to understand, or a least sympathise with a man for whom violence has won, it will certainly make you think.




Extract

Whenever a battle draws to an end Khalid feels the need for order and cleanliness and the feeling grows, spreads until it becomes almost like an obsession. After every battle his room is clean and fresh again like new, as if the builders have just left.




Translated by Sophie Bennett

Parallels

Land of Stone and Thyme: An Anthology of Palestine Short Stories by Nur Elmessiri and Abdelwahab Elmessiri (eds)
An Arabic Mosaic: Short Stories by Arab Women Writers by Dalya Cohen-Mor
 

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