The Highest Horizon

The Higher Horizon Cover

Publishing House: Masciliana Editions

Publication Year: 2022

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 229

“The Highest Horizon” by Saudi author Fatimah Abdulhamid, shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, presents a poignant narrative about Sulaiman, who discovers love later in life. His mother and wife leave, leaving shadows as a reminder never to leave the balcony door open. Sulaiman forgets, leaving the door ajar, finding love in a gentle shadow on the balcony. Intriguingly, it’s Death, the narrator, who humorously recounts Sulaiman’s life, mocking human endeavors in a life that is essentially a play of illusions.

Exploring Life’s Intricacies: Beyond Grand Concepts in Abdul Amid’s Celebrated Novel

This celebrated novel focuses on the minutiae of human existence, the daily details shaping our humanity beyond grand concepts. The narrative is not just about major issues or historical contexts, but a study of a man’s life, his solitude, and the brightness that comes with each woman’s departure from his life. The value of Abdulhamid’s work lies in its intricate detailing of human experiences. The narration, provided by Death itself, acts as a camera moving through homes, capturing human life in its raw form. Does intelligent dialogue and well-crafted characters negate the need for grand themes to understand life? Can’t a part of life be understood through a lone man on a balcony, who becomes brighter with every woman’s departure from his life?

After his wife’s death, Sulaiman realizes his capability to build a new one. Narrated by Azrael, the Angel of Death, this novel introduces Sulaiman, a widowed man who married as a teenager. Living under the protection of various women, he represents a counter-image to the stereotypical strong Arab male. Sulaiman is alone until a neighbor becomes an unexpected partner in an unanticipated love adventure. The novel suggests planning is futile; life’s deceptions and death’s disruptions unfold regardless.

The Futility of Planning on – The Highest Horizon

In “The Highest Horizon,” we encounter Sulaiman, the boy whose childhood was stolen by an early marriage, forced into adulthood and responsibilities beyond his comprehension. Early loss of innocence and enforced maturity recurs, exploring societal expectations’ impact on individual lives.

The book captures human experiences, shifting from broad concepts to focus on the everyday aspects shaping our humanity. With death as the narrator, the novel offers a unique perspective, highlighting the irony and transience of human endeavors. It questions whether life requires grand narratives or historical contexts, suggesting profound insights from ordinary moments and individual stories.

In “The Highest Horizon,” Abdulhamid intricately weaves a tale that not only challenges societal norms but also delves into the complexities of human emotions and relationships. The novel stands out as a testament to the power of storytelling in capturing depth and diversity.

Read More About Fatima Abdulhamid

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