Fadi Zaghmout’s ‘Paradise on Earth’: Family Dynamics in Futuristic Jordan

This is a well written comprehensive review by Jona for Janna Ala Al Ard published on Arablit blog today.


Fadi Zaghmout’s second novel, Paradise on Earth, takes readers eighty-odd years into the future, imagining a Jordan where we have control over the aging process:

By Jona Fras

jannaFadi Zaghmout’s Paradise on Earth (Janna ‘ala l-ard; Dar al-Adab, 2014) has been labeled a “science fiction” novel — although a more precise description might be “speculative fiction with futuristic elements.” It is the Jordanian writer’s second novel, following The Bride of Amman (2012), to be published in English translation by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp later this year. Like Bride, Janna explores interpersonal relationships and the issues individuals face when their desires and ideals clash with societal norms — but this time, with a futuristic twist: The novel’s central premise is a form of medicine that can reverse human aging, and in effect grant eternal life.

Janna is set in Amman, Jordan in the 2090s, and is narrated through the eyes of Janna Abdallah…

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