No One Prayed Over Their Graves

Longlist, National Book Awards 2023 for Translated Literature

ISBN 9780374601928
Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Macmillan Publishers
Khaled Khalifa

Khaled Khalifa was born in 1964 near Aleppo, Syria. He studied law at Aleppo University and actively participated in the foundation of ALEPH magazine with a group of writers and poets. More about this author >

Leri Price

Leri Price is an award-winning literary translator of contemporary Arabic fiction. She has twice been a Finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature, both in 2021 for her translations of Samar Yazbek’s Planet of Clay, and in 2019 for Khaled Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work. More about this author >

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Translated from the Arabic 

From the publisher:

On a December morning in 1907, two close friends, Hanna and Zakariya, return to their village near Aleppo after a night of drunken carousing in the city, only to discover that there has been a massive flood. Their neighbors, families, children—nearly all of them are dead. Their homes, shops, and places of worship are leveled. Their lives will never be the same.

Hanna was once a wealthy libertine, a landowner who built a famed citadel devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and excess. But with the loss of his home, wife, and community, he transforms, becoming an ascetic mystic obsessed with death and the meaning of life. In No One Prayed Over Their Graves, we follow Hanna’s life before and after the flood, tracing friendships, loves and lusts, family and business, until he is just one thread in the rich tapestry of Aleppo.