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In the Presence of Absence by Mahmoud Darwish
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In the Presence of Absence

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In the Presence of Absence by Mahmoud Darwish
Paperback $19.00
Nov 04, 2011 | ISBN 9781935744016

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    Nov 04, 2011 | ISBN 9781935744016

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  • Feb 29, 2012 | ISBN 9781935744658

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Winner of 2012 ALTA National Translation Award

(Mahmoud) Darwish’s later poems are long, open-ended, traveling far in time and space, balancing many seemingly incongruous elements, moving in one line from the quotidien to the epic… His poetry is polyphonic, containing the voices of lovers, enemies, parents, former selves. The poet’s own identity often gently disintegrates or splits…His humanity, (Darwish) argued, was safeguarded by acknowledging the humanity of his enemy. New York Review of Books

“No list on Palestinian literature is complete without the acclaimed poet Mahmoud Darwish . . . In the Presence of Absence is a fascinating piece of prose, with an aging Darwish reflecting on his youth and tracing the journey that his life will take him, infused with the poetic voice for which Darwish is renowned.” Esquire

Beautiful… inescapably lyrical. —Bookslut

Mahmoud Darwish [is] perhaps the foremost Palestinian poet of last century. —Tablet

There are two maps of Palestine that politicians will never manage to forfeit: the one kept in the memories of Palestinian refugees, and that which is drawn by Darwish’s poetry. —Anton Shammas

Then came silence. Mahmoud Darwish began to read. We did not know a word of Arabic, but we heard his voice reach out and sink deep down to pluck the strings of the Palestinian soul. It was a magical night in Ramallah, the magician, Mahmoud Darwish, whose spell was cast the way it has been through ages–simply by being that elusive archetype, much envied and feared by power—a poet at ease with, because attuned to, his own people. —Wole Soyinka

Mahmoud Darwish is one of the greatest poets of our time. In his poetry Palestine becomes the map of the human soul. —Elias Khoury

Darwish is the premier poetic voice of the Palestinian people… lyrical, imagistic, plaintive, haunting, always passionate, and elegant–and never anything less than free—what he would dream for all his people. —Naomi Shihab Nye

[A] unique achievement… It offers costly wisdoms from a life journey, rendered in the opaque lyricism of Darwish’s poetry…His is the voice of dispossessed Palestine but its longings, including sheer lust, are universal. This book overflows with resonant lines and questions… It is a book for life. —The Independent

“[Darwish’s] prose is rich with metaphor and sensual, even sexual, imagery, but the pain of a man who was denied the ability to live freely within the land of his birth, and witnessed, by the time of his death in 2008, the impact of sixty years of occupation and conflict on the Palestinian people, is never far from the surface . . . Darwish’s meditative, incantatory prose is neither elusive nor intimidating. He writes from the heart and with the heart his words are best met.” — Joseph Schreiber, Rough Ghosts

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