Miles Davis, the Prince of Darkness, made his name in the frenetic world of bebop by playing his trumpet as little as possible, emphasizing not a constant stream of notes, but the gaps between them. “It’s not the notes you play; it’s the notes you don’t play,” he was fond of saying. Robert Aickman, who started publishing his “strange stories” not long after Davis’s first recordings were issued (1954 vs. 1945), once said that an effective piece of weird fiction “must open a door, preferably where no one had previously noticed a door to exist; and at the end, leave it open, or, possibly, ajar.”
By incorporating relevant lexicons—such as those involving martyrs, street battles, marches, protests, sit-ins, trials, fatwa, and so on—her novel resonates powerfully with the present experiences of some regions of the Middle East and North Africa.
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