A multi-award-winning tale of love and courage, picked by the Independent as one of the 30 Best Debut Novels of 2019.
Inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, Ahmad Danny Ramadan’s innovative and poetic debut novel tells the story of two lovers anchored to the memory of a dying Syria. One is Hakawati, the storyteller, keeping life in forward motion by relaying remembered fables and incidents from their youth to his dying partner. Each night he spins stories of a Damascus childhood, of leaving home, of persecution and hardship, and of his fated meeting with his lover. Meanwhile, Death himself, in his dark cloak, shares the house with the two men, eavesdropping on their secrets as he awaits their final undoing.
‘A remarkable read. Danny Ramadan opens a world for his readers and guides them through it with sensitivity and suspense.’
—Bernhard Schlink, author of #1 New York Times-bestseller The Reader
‘In The Clothesline Swing, Ramadan has gifted his readers with a resistance manifesto coded with love… possesses the silk-textures of early Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Michael Ondaatje.’
—Diriye Osman, winner of the 2014 Polari First Book Prize
‘By turns sombre, fantastical, violent and tender, Ahmad Danny Ramadan’s English-language debut is a gay son’s conflicted love letter to Syria.’
—The Globe and Mail