February 18, 2024

“A Hole to the Sky”: Living Generations Despite Their Death

A hole to the Sky

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The review of Abdullah Al-Ayaf‘s novel “A Hole to the Sky,” published by Dar Rashm in collaboration with Dar Masciliani in 2020, opens by referencing the town of Macondo in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” This town served as a central character, playing a significant role in the development of events and characters while reflecting themes of isolation, solitude, and social transformations.

The novel consists of 12 chapters and approximately 309 pages, earning a spot on the longlist of the 2021 International Arabic Fiction Award, also known as the “Arabic Booker Prize.” Al-Ayaf employs an omniscient narrative style with intriguing and profound chapter titles, leaving much untold but open to multiple interpretations.

Set in Majhara, a dwelling of myths and a graveyard of dreams, the narrative unfolds the myths of the ancients, supernatural events, jinn tales, visions of the righteous, and stories of those coming to this mysterious place. The village resembles the belly of a whale, swallowing people and returning them only in the form of memories or symbols of dreams.

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