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Distributed for Seagull Books

Ever Since I Did Not Die

Translated by Isis Nusair
Edited by Levi Thompson
“I gathered these texts like someone collecting body parts. Here are the pieces of my body, haphazardly brought together in a paper bag. It looks like me with all my madness and sickness—how the revolution made me grow up, what the war broke inside me, and what exile chipped away.”

The texts gathered in Ever Since I Did Not Die by Syrian-Palestinian poet Ramy Al-Asheq are a poignant record of a fateful journey. Having grown up in a refugee camp in Damascus, Al-Asheq was imprisoned and persecuted by the regime in 2011 during the Syrian Revolution. He was released from jail, only to be recaptured and imprisoned in Jordan. After escaping from prison, he spent two years in Jordan under a fake name and passport, during which he won a literary fellowship that allowed him to travel to Germany in 2014, where he now lives and writes in exile.

Through seventeen powerful testimonies, Ever Since I Did Not Die vividly depicts what it means to live through war. Exquisitely weaving the past with the present and fond memories with brutal realities, this volume celebrates resistance through words that refuse to surrender and continue to create beauty amidst destruction—one of the most potent ways to survive in the darkest of hours.
 

96 pages | 5 x 8 1/2

The Arab List

Poetry


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Reviews

"Written as a series of prose vignettes, Ever Since I Did Not Die seems to defy genre altogether, with the author determined to 'save this collection from classification.' The translation by Isis Nusair reproduces this indeterminacy in lucid prose that molds itself to the rhythms of English syntax. The collection tracks the author’s journey from Yarmouk, Syria’s largest Palestinian refugee camp, to Germany, as it chronicles war and violence as well as the blossoming and demise of the speaker’s love affair with a woman whom he weaves in and out of the narrative, as if she were a ghost or a fragment of a life left behind."

Harriet Books (Poetry Foundation)

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