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May 10, 2007

Elias Khoury is author of eleven novels including Little Mountain and Gates of the City. He is currently professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University, and editor in chief of the literary supplement of Beirut’s daily newspaper, An-Nahar. We talk here, at the Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival, about his latest novel in English Gate of the Sun, of how great literature speaks to what is human and how religion doesn’t; of how telling stories helps us to overcome death, and how knowledge helps to overcome power; of keys, loss, hatred and love; of how important the right to story, memory and language is to the existence of a people; of the double tragedy of Palestine in 1948, the real one and the fact that the telling of this catastrophe has not been permitted; of how reading literature helps us discover ourselves and of how literature attempts to give meaning to the meaninglessness of life.

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