Finalist for the PEN Translation Prize and PEN Center USA Translation Award.
A book as unique as its subject matter – messy, incomplete, at times unreliable, yet as haunting and alluring as memories themselves. — Justin Stephani (Electric Literature)
This elegy for a lost Beirut, past and future, this novel was carrying me to a place I had never been before. — Alan Cheuse (NPR)
A slim, powerful volume, now in deft translation by Kareem James Abu-Zeid ... [Jaber] is a major force in Arabic literature. — M. Lynx-Qualey (The Chicago Tribune)
Clever and illuminating. — Malcolm Forbes (The National)
Jaber shares a delight in stories that defy conventional ideas about identity and the relations between East and West. — The New York Review of Books
Jaber is interested in what it means to live in and with fear, not for one season but for a whole generation, two generations, three. He’s interested in the bones of Beirut, a city that has had to rebuild itself repeatedly after being razed in war in 140 B.C., then devastated by the earthquake of 551, then again during the civil war, a city whose name derives from the Canaanite be’erot — “wells” — the water table that still sustains it. He’s interested in what lies beneath, what nourishes us without our knowing. — Parul Sehgal (The New York Times Book Review)
[An] unflinching thriller about trauma and forgiveness, set in the chaos of the Lebanese Civil War. — Jeva Lange (The Week)
Abu-Zeid has made Rabee Jaber’s Beirut part of our imaginary landscape and added him to our constellation of fiction writers. — Erik Noonan (World Literature Today)
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