Book review: Khaled Khalifa weaves poetry and history into this Syrian epic

In No One Prayed Over Their Graves, faith and politics intertwine with the personal in a tale of friends and family across generations

Writer Khaled Khalifa: His prose is beautifully sparse, occasionally verging on the poetic. Picture: Getty

Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa has refused to leave his Damascus home, despite the dangers of an ongoing civil war. Instead, he has steadfastly remained in situ working for more than a decade on his fourth novel, a strange yet epic tale of pleasure, pain, violence, heartache and love.

No One Prayed Over Their Graves begins in 1907 in the small village of Hosh Hanna outside Aleppo, when a massive storm results in the river breaking ...