Haneef bade farewell with the words that his limited Arabic vocabulary allowed, and I bade farewell to him as I crossed the remaining metres of the bridge. I gripped the phone for a moment in irritation, trying to imprison some of Haneef’s voice inside it in order to hold a more decent conversation later, one in keeping with the refined humanity he deserved, not one that grew more uncouth the older I got.
I opened the window, hoping that the air blowing in would explain my watering eyes, and waited for a question from my wife who’d been watching me closely since the conversation began:
‘Who was that?’
‘Haneef, our old driver.’
‘Why the tears?’
‘I miss him.’
Translated by Anthony Calderbank
Excerpted from Beirut 39 by Samuel Shimon. Copyright © 2010 by Samuel Shimon. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare...
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.