As Though She Were Sleeping is an homage to dreaming, "the only way of escaping oppression, be it familial, religious, or political." Milia's response to her new husband and to the Middle East of 1947 is to close her eyes and float into parallel worlds where identities and faces shift, and where she can converse with the dead and foresee the future. As the novel progresses, Milia's dreams become more navigable than the strange and obstinate "reality" in which she finds herself, and the two worlds grow ever more entangled. This wondrous tapestry of love, faith, history, and vision breaks new literary ground.
Elias Khoury Born in Beirut in 1948, Elias Khoury is the author of eleven novels, four volumes of literary criticism, and three plays. The publication of his first novel, On the Relations of the Circle (1975), entered him into the Beirut vanguard of modern Arabic literature, which was seeking to create new dimensions in the movement of modernism. Khoury's commitment to Palestinian human rights began when he visited a refugee camp in Jordan at age nineteen. Khoury has been an advocate ever since, devoting his energies to the Palestine Research Center in Beirut and speaking out in articles, essays, and through his fiction. Khoury is a Global Distinguished professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. In 1998, he was awarded the Palestine Prize for Gate of the Sun, and in 2000, the novel was named Le Monde Diplomatique's Book of the Year. Elias Khoury is a public intellectual, and a cultural activist who plays a major role in contemporary Arabic culture and in the defense of the liberty of expression and democracy.
Thursday, 10 May 2012, 7PM
Doors open at 6:30 PM
Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver Street, New York
$5 / free for Alwan members, students & seniors