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The Dance of the Deep-Blue Scorpion
by Akram Musallam
translated by Sawad Hussain
Seagull Books, 2021
Cloth: 978-0-85742-893-6 | eISBN: 978-0-85742-918-6

An experimental novel that explores the complexity of Palestinian identity through extended metaphor and dark humor.

On a plastic chair in a parking lot in Ramallah sits a young man writing a novel, reflecting on his life: working in a dance club on the Israeli side of the border, scratching his father’s amputated leg, dreaming nightly of a haunting scorpion, witnessing the powerful aura of his mountain-lodging aunt. His work in progress is a meditation on absence, loss, and emptiness. He poses deep questions: What does it mean to exist? How can you confirm the existence of a place, a person, a limb? How do we engage with what is no longer there? Absurd at times, raw at others, The Dance of the Deep-Blue Scorpion explores Palestinian identity through Akram Musallam’s extended metaphors in the hope of transcending the loss of territory and erasure of history.

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