Everything is endless but nothing remains as it is. That’s a lesson your hand has learned, right down to the bones and the nerves; the hand that no longer shakes the air like a fist of bronze, but hovers uncertainly — with bulging veins — over the table, the hand that has to reassess dimensions and sizes, heaviness and lightness. Have you noticed how unsteady it is when you shake hands with people, give directions or touch things? Perhaps not, because against the background noise of flesh and blood, you cannot hear that mysterious and perfidious pickaxe chipping away, as the stones of the fortress start to work loose from the inside. But the rasping noise of that pickaxe comes straight from the lungs. It cannot always be muffled with the palm of a hand or a pocket handkerchief.
— Amjad Nasser, Land of No Rain (translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright)
Book details (Foyles affiliate link)
Land of No Rain (2011) by Amjad Nasser, tr. Jonathan Wright (2014), Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing paperback