=By= Gaither Stewart
A response to Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury.On this hot Italian late afternoon, after over a week inside the literary work entitled Gate of the Sun, I am still wandering in the gossamer framework of the novel constructed by a great writer and storyteller, Elias Khoury, a 531-page “story” consisting of the stories, incidents, histories, lives and deaths narrated by the author’s canvas of countless characters. I am still not certain if I have read a hymn to the courage of the Palestinian people, its men and women, or a dirge to their ceaseless suffering and death. Or, perhaps, the Lebanese author and activist in the Palestinian liberation movement intended his stupendous work of art as both. In any case, I have not even attempted to write here a review of this complex, poetic masterpiece, originally published as Bab al-Shams by Dar-al-Adab, Beirut, 1998 , first published in the USA by Archipelago Books, and finally the edition I read by Picador, 2005, in the translation by Humphrey Davies which seems to me, a non-Arabic reader, magnificent. For me, this novel is emblematic of the glory of fiction. I would challenge anyone to accomplish in non-fiction what Elias Khoury has done here.