Hilu, Alon: Death of a Monk. First Edition/First Printing. *Signed & Dated*« back
This is a first edition and first printing of Death of a Monk by Alon Hilu, published by Harvill Secker in 2006.
The book and protected dust jacket are in Fine condition with no inscriptions and not price clipped.
Signed and dated by the author to the title page.
It is Damascus, 1840. Aslan Farhi's quiet, sheltered life is turned upside down when his brutish father, a wealthy businessman, decides he should wed. Aslan finds the wedding a painful ordeal, lightened only by the presence of the exotic dancer, Umm-Jihan, by whom he becomes entranced. Unable to come to terms with his wife, who has moved into the family home, Aslan visits his friend Sulieman the barber who tells him of the Maqha cafe, a place strictly forbidden to Jews, on the border between the Christian and Muslim Quarters. Here, in this seedy den of vice, Aslan meets Umm-Jihan again.
This vision of beauty awakens a dormant desire for women. But all is not as it seems and Aslan is soon deeply upset; confused and at a loss he embarks on ill-advised liaison with another man, with disastrous consequences. The Damascus of "Death of A Monk" is a rich and vibrant place; lively, sensual and at the same time teeming with fear and hostility. Through the dark alleyways and bustling marketplaces, Hilu unfolds a story charged with emotional and sexual conflict. It is a powerful literary tour de force from a unique new voice; at times wickedly funny, at others painfully sad, but beautifully told throughout. It is a stunning debut.
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