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In the Presence of Absence Paperback – Deckle Edge, November 4, 2011
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The truest of poets... In the Presence of Absence is a book possessed of a remarkable and enduring beauty. —Chuck Wachtel
Beautiful... inescapably lyrical. —Bookslut
Mahmoud Darwish [is] perhaps the foremost Palestinian poet of last century. —Tablet
There are two maps of Palestine that politicians will never manage to forfeit: the one kept in the memories of Palestinian refugees, and that which is drawn by Darwish’s poetry. —Anton Shammas
Then came silence. Mahmoud Darwish began to read. We did not know a word of Arabic, but we heard his voice reach out and sink deep down to pluck the strings of the Palestinian soul. It was a magical night in Ramallah, the magician, Mahmoud Darwish, whose spell was cast the way it has been through ages--simply by being that elusive archetype, much envied and feared by power—a poet at ease with, because attuned to, his own people. —Wole Soyinka
Mahmoud Darwish is one of the greatest poets of our time. In his poetry Palestine becomes the map of the human soul. —Elias Khoury
Darwish is the premier poetic voice of the Palestinian people... lyrical, imagistic, plaintive, haunting, always passionate, and elegant--and never anything less than free—what he would dream for all his people. —Naomi Shihab Nye
[A] unique achievement... It offers costly wisdoms from a life journey, rendered in the opaque lyricism of Darwish's poetry...His is the voice of dispossessed Palestine but its longings, including sheer lust, are universal. This book overflows with resonant lines and questions... It is a book for life. —The Independent
About the Author
Sinan Antoon is an Iraqi poet, novelist, and translator. His co-translation of Darwish’s poetry was nominated for the PEN Translation Prize in 2004. He is the author of The Baghdad Blues, I’jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody, and The Pomegranate Alone. He is Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature at New York University.