news | Thursday January 25, 2024

Speaking Through the Night has Arrived!

It’s here! Speaking Through the Night: Diary of a Lockdown, March–April 2020 by Wajdi Mouawad and translated by Linda Gaboriau has arrived at Talonbooks. A gorgeous, diaristic literary work from the award-winning author of Anima and more, Speaking Through the Night captures the early days of lockdown, while remembering back to the author’s childhood in Lebanon, adolescence in Montréal, and more.

An excerpt from the text:

‘My father, like so many others, doesn’t fear confinement as much as he fears solitude at the moment of his death. War, it’s true, had accustomed my father to solitude. For years on end, having stayed in Lebanon to continue working while we were in Paris, then in Montréal, he had to learn to cope with unhappiness. For years, much later when I would stop by to visit him, I often asked him about those terrible years. He always avoided the question, finding clever ways to change the subject and bring me back to the question of money, his favourite subject. But as the years went by, with the onset of old age, illness, and the prospect of death, his heart opened and he began to speak more openly, freed from the sclerosis of shame that had restrained him for such a long time. “How did you manage on your own during the war, Papa? When the bombing was so intense, not only was it impossible to leave the house but it was impossible to communicate with us or with anyone? Internet didn’t exist, cellphones didn’t exist, and the phone lines were always down. So what did you do?…” I think I asked him that question every Sunday for ten years. And one day, instead of dismissing the question with his usual answer, “I don’t know. What do you expect me to say?! That’s how it was, there was no way around it. What do you think we could do? I don’t know. How can you expect me to remember? Stop asking me these questions, yallah khalas!”…One day, instead, he started to laugh and he said: “You won’t believe it, but I’ll tell you anyway, and you can use it for one of your plays and you’ll stop thinking your father’s an idiot and it will be a great comedy.”’

Pick up your copy of Speaking Through the Night here.

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