No Road To Paradise
by Daoud, Hassan
In a small Lebanese village a disillusioned imam, diagnosed with terminal cancer, must face his demons. Having consented to an arranged marriage, he has found himself in a loveless union and lusts after another. To please his family, he took up the robe and turban of his forefathers but the expected path to fulfillment did not unfold before him. Meticulous, sparse prose quietly evokes the essence of rural life and the burden of tradition.
Hassan Daoud’s masterful novel plumbs the depths of a man s struggle with religion and his place in the world. Hassan Daoud, born in Beirut in 1950, holds a master s degree in Arabic literature and has taught creative writing at the Lebanese American University. He is the editorial director of al-Mudun news website and is on the editorial board of the quarterly magazine Kalamon. He is the author of three short story collections and ten novels. No Road to Paradise was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2015.
Marilyn Booth has translated works by Hoda Barakat, Latifa al-Zayyat, Nawal El Saadawi, and many other Arab writers, and is the translator of Hassan Daoud’s The Penguin’s Song. She is Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud Professor in the Study of the Contemporary Arab World in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University.