The Harvard Square Book Circle discusses No Knives in the Kitchens of This City at Harvard Book Store
The Harvard Square Book Circle, our in-store book club, discusses Khaled Khalifa's award-winning novel, No Knives in the Kitchens of This City.
About No Knives in the Kitchens of This City
In the once beautiful city of Aleppo, one Syrian family descends into tragedy and ruin.
Irrepressible Sawsan flirts with militias, the ruling party, and finally religion, seeking but never finding salvation. She and her siblings and mother are slowly choked in violence and decay, as their lives are plundered by a brutal regime.
Set between the 1960s and 2000s, No Knives in the Kitchens of this City unravels the systems of fear and control under Assad. With eloquence and startling honesty, it speaks of the persecution of a whole society.
"Khaled Khalifa writes about his native city with sensuality and an almost feral intensity . . . . No Knives in the Kitchens of This City offers a glimpse into how terrified and empty of hope the people of a city must be to rise up in revolt. The future offers them nothing. It is a castle of closed doors. . . . The sights, smells and horror of living in Aleppo come pounding to life in this book. The place, to me, is no longer an abstraction, and Mr. Khalifa clearly fears for its fate throughout." —The New York Times
"Intricately plotted, chronologically complicated and a pleasure to read. . . . The writing is superb—a dense, luxurious realism pricked with surprising metaphors. It is lyrical, sensuous and so semantically rich that at times it resembles a prose poem . . . . A sad but beautiful book, providing important human context to the escalating Syrian tragedy." —The Guardian
"Required reading for anyone who wants to better understand the roots of the uprising and current conflict in Syria." —Literary Hub