Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Tiller of Waters” as Want to Read:
The Tiller of Waters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Tiller of Waters

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This spellbinding novel narrates the many-layered recollections of a hallucinating man in devastated Beirut. The desolate, almost surreal, urban landscape is enriched by the unfolding of the family sagas of Niqula Mitri and his beloved Shamsa, the Kurdish maid. Mitri reminisces about his Egyptian mother and his father who came back to settle in Beirut after a long stay in ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 15th 2004 by American University in Cairo Press (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Tiller of Waters, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Tiller of Waters

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 266)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Shane
A cool book about the Lebanese civil war. Poetic. Quasi-experimental. I want to read it in Arabic.
Suzanne
Jul 09, 2008 Suzanne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in stream of concious and reflective thought
hoda barakat reveals a invesitgation of where our minds would go were we to be left alone. thankfully her protaganist wasn't a politican.

this book took me some time to become invested in. its brevity hasn't been an incentive to finish it quickly but there are precious nuggets of wisdom within the book. it does the reader the favor of mentioning the breadth of destruction in beruit and insinuations of israeli militancy. this nuance is important for two reasons: the relief to read a commentary on
...more
Guneet
A surreal novel for those who are familiar with the landscape of middle east. Flowing fabrics and weavers dominate this prose. There is no plot if you are looking for one. Initially the book will enchant you with beautiful descriptions but slowly the devastated landscape of Beirut will take you deeper into the rubble of war where a man in his futile ambition to grow a garden on the ruins of his cloth shop looks for new plants. Also, it unfolds the Kurdish mythology of how 'KURDS', came into bein ...more
Wawan
The Tiller of Waters is a beautiful novel that is vulgarly illusive. Don't take me wrong; I have no grudge against it--you'll find the opposite at the end of this review. I use "vulgarly illusive" to denote the novel's quality for being illusive/elusive and telling us so upfront. It opens with a list of epigraphs, two of which from Jorge Luis Borges and another from a pre-modern Chinese philosopher that sounds so much like Borges.
The novel presents a narration by Niqula, a Beiruti young man who
...more
Nooralnoaimi
This was one of the most descriptive books I have ever read; not always for the best but you'll need to finish it to make up your mind; personally the ending really struck a cord with me...simple yet powerful.
Sunny
A very interesting book about a war in Lebanon and a person stuck in the middle of it. But the book is also about material, and weaving, and cloth and there is a beautiful; section near the end about silk. Here is a small example of the beautiful use of language – this section is about silk: “Come a little nearer, and close your eyes so that their energy will pass into your ears. What do you hear? the sound of a pent-up brook suddenly freed, or a wave crashing onto hot sand, or the escape of a b ...more
Mohammad Bahlool
عندما يكون القُماش هو البطل ..

علّقتني هذه الرّواية منذ عام عندما قرأت عنها. ووجدتها الكترونياً في مجموعة كتاب في جريدة.

حكاية القماش وحبكته وأصوله، من الدانتيل الى الحرير ، صاغتها هدى بركات بخط متوازي مع بيروت(المدينة الملعونة) وتاريخها وحروبها .
حكاية فريدة فلسفية فيها من بدء الخليقة والأكوان والغواية إلى الأديان والفلسفات والعقائد مروراً بالأعراق والأنساب والأقوام، بشكل أراه فريداً متفرّداً.

تحكي البطل ، بائع القماش الذي أحب خادمته الكرديّة، حين تاهَ في دمار بيروت حين الحرب الأهلية، ليلجأ لد
...more
Ruth Ahmedzai
Didn't enjoy this as much as I'd hoped and found the prose tediously laborious at times. But I loved the scenes in post-apocalyptic war-torn Beirut. The musings about fabrics and some of my favourite bits of history (Byzantium, Silk Route, central Asia...) could have and should have gripped me more but just didn't really work for me.
Saleem Khashan
قصة مختلفة، ماذا إذا أنفصلت عن العالم وعشت مختبأ عنه غضبان من أفعالهم. يختبأ شخصية القصة في وسط بيروت التجاري المدمر خلال الحرب الأهلية خائفاً من الوحوش الحقيقية في هذه الدنيا اللتي تقتل دون سبب أو لأنك تؤمن بالله بطريقة مختلفة. ويحاول تجنب الوحش اللتي تقتلة لأنها تحتاج أن تأكل، قصة مختلفة غير مملة ومع وجود شخصية واحدة إلا أنها في الحقيقة تتكلم عن شخصيات البشر عامة ووحشيتها. أحببتها.
Nihad
رواية من الممكن أن اقول عنها انها "غريبة" ,
قرأتها ضمن منشورات كتاب في جريدة 2004,
يمضي فيها الخال موثقا الواقع بطريقة صادقة و عميقة جدادون ان تبدو كذلك,
و للقماش حكاية أخرى تغير نظرة القاريء له بعد أن ينتهي,
حيث يصبح القماش كائنا حيا حيويا و حساسا فيها.
Kath
Couldn't get into it. The narrator was not likeable, and the whole thing moves too slowly. I didn't care for the tone of the books the story within the story took too long to get to. I'm reading the English translation. Maybe it's better in Arabic.
Yasmenaaaaa
رواية جميلة.تحكي عشق وتغلل في بيروت كما فعلت رضوى عاشور في قطعة من أورنا.ثم طريقة السرد الممتعة وقصة الأقمشة والمخمل والأكراد وقصة شمسه.بيروت التي لاتفتئ تعيش الإزدهار حتى تنتكس كالقمر.ممتعة..
Ahmad Knio
كتاب مثير بمضمونه وسرده لكنه يفاجئك بنهايته التي تحتمل الكثير من التأويلات ... "من قتلني يا ابي" احببت طرقة الكاتبة بمزج المعلومات والرواية بدون ان تشعر بالملل من سرد الحقائق التاريخية او العلمية
Muhammad
معقولة، كقصة ضعيفة، معتمدة بالكامل على ثرثرة متماسكة لغوية ومختلقة، لو بتحب شغل العزب، الرواية دي نفس السكة وأحسن
Maya
ليستردّ الترابُ سلطته، ولينقلبَ وجهُ هذه المدينة مرةً أخرى ويخرجَ منها أهلُها لتوكل لساكنين جدد.
طارق
اعجبني الكتاب كثيرا فهو يكتب في ذلك الحنق من نظام الاشياء في بلادناوالضياع في الحياة القاسية
Britton
stone of laughter blows the tiller out of his waters
Mohammad Bahlool
البدايات والتاريخ والمرأة .
sana
breathtaking
Peter
Peter marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2015
Rweena Ali
Rweena Ali marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2015
Melanie
Melanie marked it as to-read
Apr 22, 2015
Meri
Meri marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2015
Michael Kay
Michael Kay marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2015
Omnya
Omnya marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2015
Elizabeth
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Yalo
  • Distant View of a Minaret and Other Stories
  • Dancing Arabs
  • A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered
  • Granada
  • يونس في أحشاء الحوت
  • Year of the Elephant: A Moroccan Woman's Journey Toward Independence
  • شجرة الدر
  • بقايا صور
  • Our Lady of the Nile
  • بيت الياسمين
  • Efuru
  • I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody
  • مملكة الغرباء
  • Sharon and My Mother-in-Law: Ramallah Diaries
  • Justice Down
  • Saddlebag: A Fable for Doubters and Seekers
  • Tomboy
90013
Hoda Barakat (Arabic: هدى بركات) is an acclaimed Lebanese novelist who lived much of her life in Beirut and later moved to Paris, where she now resides. Her works, written in Arabic, have been translated into many languages.
Her first work Hajar al-Dahik (The Stone of Laughter), is the first Arabic work to have a gay man as its main character. Her third novel, Harit al-miyah (The Tiller of Waters),
...more
More about Hoda Barakat...
The Stone of Laughter سيدي وحبيبي رسائل الغريبة Les Illuminés أهل الهوى

Share This Book