Lake Beyond the Wind, A
by Yahya Yakhlif
The year is 1948; the place, Samakh, a small town on Lake Tiberias, north of Jerusalem. People in Samakh are waiting — for what, exactly, they do not yet know. The whistle of the Haifa-Deraa train doesn’t sound anymore. Abd al-Karim, the shopkeeper, no longer goes into the city to buy new stock. “You townspeople,” says Haj Mahmoud, leader of the fighters in the 1936 rebellion, “had better start digging trenches. There are dark days ahead.” A Lake Beyond the Wind is a novel about the most catastrophic year in Palestinian history, a time marked by violent clashes between Zionist forces and the volunteers of the Arab Liberation Army. Yakhlif tenderly gathers all the town folk, the soldiers of the beleaguered army, the animals of the natural world into his tale, which makes it all the more powerful a lament for a world that is no more.