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The King of India: A Novel (Paperback)

The King of India: A Novel Cover Image
By Jabbour Douaihy, Paula Haydar (Translated by)
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Description


The story of a Lebanese murder case set against the backdrop of sectarian animosity from an award-winning author

The story of a Lebanese murder case set against the backdrop of sectarian animosity
Shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction


In mysterious circumstances, the body of Zakaria Mubarak is found in an orchard on the outskirts of his village of Tel Safra in northern Lebanon. He had just returned from a long exile in Europe, the US, and Africa, carrying with him a painting by Marc Chagall, the “Blue Violinist,” a gift from his girlfriend in Paris. Suspicion falls on the cousins, who may have killed him to get their hands on a treasure supposedly buried underneath the house built by their grandmother when she returned from America.

As investigator Abu Khalid wrestles with conflicting evidence surrounding Zakaria’s death, he is drawn into a picture of the victim’s life, one that recalls fables of gold, sibling strife, the love of French women, false promises of revolution, and the corruption and sectarian enmities that have plagued their homeland.

A riveting meditation on the riddle of a crime, Paula Haydar’s eloquent translation pays fitting homage to a compassionate, guiding light of Lebanese fiction.

About the Author


Jabbour Douaihy is a celebrated Lebanese novelist born in the town of Zgharta, northern Lebanon, in 1949. He holds a PhD degree in comparative literature from the Sorbonne and works as a professor of French literature at the Lebanese University. He has published seven works of fiction, including June Rain, which was shortlisted for the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008 and The Vagrant, shortlisted for IPAF in 2012. The American Quarter reached the IPAF long list in 2015. Paula Haydar is Clinical Assistant Professor of Arabic at the University of Arkansas. She holds a PhD degree in comparative literature and an M.F.A. degree in literary translation. She has translated numerous novels by contemporary Lebanese, Palestinian, and Jordanian authors. Her translation of Lebanese novelist Jabbour Douaihy’s June Rain was selected as the highly commended runner-up of the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation and also made the Daily Star’s list of Top Middle East Novels of 2014. Her translations of Lebanese authors also include three novels by Elias Khoury (Gates of the City, The Journey of Little Gandhi, and The Kingdom of Strangers) and three novels by Rashid al-Daif (This Side of Innocence, Learning English, and Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep?). Her translations of novels by Palestinian writers include Sahar Khalifeh’s The End of Spring and Adania Shibli’s Touch (Interlink). Her most recent translation is What Price Paradise by Jordanian writer Jamal Naji.

Paula Haydar is Clinical Assistant Professor of Arabic at the University of Arkansas. She holds a PhD degree in comparative literature and an M.F.A. degree in literary translation. She has translated numerous novels by contemporary Lebanese, Palestinian, and Jordanian authors. Her translation of Lebanese novelist Jabbour Douaihy’s June Rain was selected as the highly commended runner-up of the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation and also made the Daily Star’s list of Top Middle East Novels of 2014. Her translations of Lebanese authors also include three novels by Elias Khoury (Gates of the City, The Journey of Little Gandhi, and The Kingdom of Strangers) and three novels by Rashid al-Daif (This Side of Innocence , Learning English, and Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep?). Her translations of novels by Palestinian writers include Sahar Khalifeh’s The End of Spring and Adania Shibli’s Touch (Interlink). Her most recent translation is What Price Paradise by Jordanian writer Jamal Naji.

Praise For…


“Douaihy illuminates Lebanon’s tumultuous recent history in brief … readers will be both enlightened and charmed.”
— Publishers Weekly on "Printed in Beirut"

Douaihy’s masterpiece … A powerful portrait of identity and division in Lebanon.”
— The New Arab on "June Rain"

“This novel is Douaihy’s most accomplished, subtle, and captivating.”
— Livres Hebdo on "The American Quarter"

“A prodigal son comes home in the wake of tragedy in Jabbour Douaihy’s compelling novel The King of India … In the literary novel, a family’s enduring connection to their homeland is traced.”
— Foreword Magazine

“The best international crime fiction … this one takes place in Lebanon, where a newly returned prodigal son is found murdered. Did his cousins kill him to rob him of a valuable painting, or is the answer more complicated? The investigator assigned to the case is not so sure and perhaps more interested in solving the riddle of the murdered man’s life than the mystery of his death. Moody, poetic, and intellectual, The King of India is the perfect introspective read ….”
— CrimeReads

“I’m a big fan of the ‘someone comes to town/someone leaves town’ descriptor for many a storyline, and Jabbour Douaihy’s The King of India accomplishes the impressive feat of incorporating both into its very first chapter. And in Paula Haydar’s translation, the language is evocative, from the opening sentence—‘Zakaria Bin Ibrahim Mubarak came back at the start of summer, just as the cherries and goat cheese were coming into season’—onward. Zakaria’s death ends that chapter, and the mysteries contained in this novel are set in motion.”
— Tobias Carroll, Words Without Borders

Product Details
ISBN: 9781623719074
ISBN-10: 1623719070
Publisher: Interlink Books
Publication Date: August 30th, 2022
Pages: 220
Language: English