New Release Books by Rabih Alameddine

Rabih Alameddine is the author of The Wrong End of the Telescope (2022), Fight of the Century (2021), Koolaids (2015), An Unnecessary Woman (2014) and other 6 books.

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The Wrong End of the Telescope

release date: Sep 06, 2022
The Wrong End of the Telescope
FINALIST FOR THE 2022 PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FOR FICTION By National Book Award and the National Book Critics' Circle Award finalist for An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine, comes a transporting new novel about an Arab American trans woman's journey among Syrian refugees on Lesbos island. Mina Simpson, a Lebanese doctor, arrives at the infamous Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece, after being urgently summoned for help by her friend who runs an NGO there. Alienated from her family except for her beloved brother, Mina has avoided being so close to her homeland for decades. But with a week off work and apart from her wife of thirty years, Mina hopes to accomplish something meaningful, among the abundance of Western volunteers who pose for selfies with beached dinghies and the camp's children. Soon, a boat crosses bringing Sumaiya, a fiercely resolute Syrian matriarch with terminal liver cancer. Determined to protect her children and husband at all costs, Sumaiya refuses to alert her family to her diagnosis. Bonded together by Sumaiya's secret, a deep connection sparks between the two women, and as Mina prepares a course of treatment with the limited resources on hand, she confronts the circumstances of the migrants' displacement, as well as her own constraints in helping them. Not since the inimitable Aaliya of An Unnecessary Woman has Rabih Alameddine conjured such a winsome heroine to lead us to one of the most wrenching conflicts of our time. Cunningly weaving in stories of other refugees into Mina's singular own, The Wrong End of the Telescope is a bedazzling tapestry of both tragic and amusing portraits of indomitable spirits facing a humanitarian crisis.

Fight of the Century

release date: Jan 19, 2021
Fight of the Century
The American Civil Liberties Union partners with award-winning authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman in this “forceful, beautifully written” (Associated Press) collection that brings together many of our greatest living writers, each contributing an original piece inspired by a historic ACLU case. On January 19, 1920, a small group of idealists and visionaries, including Helen Keller, Jane Addams, Roger Baldwin, and Crystal Eastman, founded the American Civil Liberties Union. A century after its creation, the ACLU remains the nation’s premier defender of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. In collaboration with the ACLU, authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman have curated an anthology of essays “full of struggle, emotion, fear, resilience, hope, and triumph” (Los Angeles Review of Books) about landmark cases in the organization’s one-hundred-year history. Fight of the Century takes you inside the trials and the stories that have shaped modern life. Some of the most prominent cases that the ACLU has been involved in—Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, Miranda v. Arizona—need little introduction. Others you may never even have heard of, yet their outcomes quietly defined the world we live in now. Familiar or little-known, each case springs to vivid life in the hands of the acclaimed writers who dive into the history, narrate their personal experiences, and debate the questions at the heart of each issue. Hector Tobar introduces us to Ernesto Miranda, the felon whose wrongful conviction inspired the now-iconic Miranda rights—which the police would later read to the man suspected of killing him. Yaa Gyasi confronts the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the ACLU submitted a friend of- the-court brief questioning why a nation that has sent men to the moon still has public schools so unequal that they may as well be on different planets. True to the ACLU’s spirit of principled dissent, Scott Turow offers a blistering critique of the ACLU’s stance on campaign finance. These powerful stories, along with essays from Neil Gaiman, Meg Wolitzer, Salman Rushdie, Ann Patchett, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Louise Erdrich, George Saunders, and many more, remind us that the issues the ACLU has engaged over the past one hundred years remain as vital as ever today, and that we can never take our liberties for granted. Chabon and Waldman are donating their advance to the ACLU and the contributors are forgoing payment.

Koolaids

release date: Sep 15, 2015
Koolaids
“Daring, dazzling . . . A tough, funny, heart-breaking book” by the National Book Award–nominated author of An Unnecessary Woman (The Seattle Times). Detailing the impact of the AIDS epidemic in America and the Lebanese civil war in Beirut on a circle of friends and their families during the 1980s and 1990s, this “absolutely brilliant” novel mines the chaos of contemporary experience, telling the stories of characters who can no longer love or think except in fragments (Amy Tan). Clips and quips, vignettes and hallucinations, tragic news reports and hilarious short plays, conversations with both the quick and the dead, all shine their combined lights to reveal the way we experience life today in the debut novel of the author Michael Chabon calls “one of our most daring writers.” “A provocative, emotionally searing series of connected vignettes . . . For a nonlinear novel the images chosen retain a remarkable cohesion. Often sexually frank or jarringly violent, they merge into a graphic portrait of two cultures torn from the inside.” —Publishers Weekly “[A] refreshing statement of honesty and endurance . . . Funny, brave, full of heart and willing to say things about war and disease, sexual and cultural politics that have rarely been said so boldly or directly before.” —The Oregonian “Rabih Alameddine is one rare writer who not only breaks our hearts but gives every broken piece a new life.” —Yiyun Li

An Unnecessary Woman

release date: Nov 17, 2014
An Unnecessary Woman
Aaliya Saleh lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family’s 'unnecessary appendage'. Every year, she translates a new favourite book into Arabic, then stows it away. The thirty-seven books that Aaliya has translated over her lifetime have never been read - by anyone. This breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman follows Aaliya’s digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut. Colourful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and Aaliya’s own volatile past. As she tries to overcome her ageing body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left. A love letter to literature and its power to define who we are, the prodigiously gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a magnificent rendering of one woman's life in the Middle East.

I, The Divine

release date: Jun 06, 2019
I, The Divine
'In this delightful novel, Alameddine takes his greatest risks yet, and succeeds brilliantly, in a work that while marked by radical formal innovation, manages to be warm, sad, funny and moving' Michael Chabon Named by her grandfather after 'the Divine' Sarah Bernhardt, Sarah Nour El-Din grows up in Beirut against the tense background of civil war. But the young Sarah finds pleasure in the everyday - her first cigarette, first kiss, seeking revenge on her tight-lipped stepmother. Then, with adulthood, comes an awareness of the fragility of life. After two failed marriages, the loss of her son, the death of one sister and the imprisonment of another, Sarah begins to tell her story. But this story is not so easy to tell. A novel written entirely in first chapters, I, THE DIVINE is an honest and touching story of one woman's struggle to come to terms with her past.

The Hakawati

release date: Jun 06, 2019
The Hakawati
'Stunning' New York Times Book Review 'Here it comes, the book of the year, on its own magic carpet. No book this bewitching has ever felt so important; no book this important has ever been so lovingly enchanted. The Hakawati is both a snapshot of our current crisis, and a story for the ages. What else can we ask the djinn of literature for?' Andrew Sean Greer, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Less In 2003, Osama al-Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father's deathbed. As the family gathers, stories begin to unfold: Osama's grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching tales are interwoven with classic stories of the Middle East. Here are Abraham and Isaac; Ishmael, father of the Arab tribes; the beautiful Fatima; Baybars, the slave prince who vanquished the Crusaders; and a host of mischievous imps. Through Osama, we also enter the world of the contemporary Lebanese men and women whose stories tell a larger, heartbreaking tale of seemingly endless war, conflicted identity, and survival. With The Hakawati, Rabih Alameddine has given us an Arabian Nights for this century. 'Sharp, seductive storytelling' O, The Oprah Magazine

The Angel of History

release date: Oct 06, 2016
The Angel of History
'A profoundly beautiful novel that infolds the political with the personal in unexpected and new ways . . . An extraordinary book' Neel Mukherjee, New Statesman, 'Books of the Year 2016' 'His stories take the reader into the labyrinth that is the mind . . . The Angel of History is digressive and daring' the Economist 'Alameddine has created a scintillating, original work whose moral complexity and detail of observation are wholly contemporary and entirely his own' Spectator Set over the course of one night in the waiting room of a psych clinic, The Angel of History follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past and dour, frigid Death who urges him to forget and give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by 14 saints. Set in Cairo and Beirut; Sana'a, Stockholm, and San Francisco; Alameddine gives us a charged philosophical portrait of a brilliant mind in crisis. This is a profound, philosophical and hilariously winning story of the war between memory and oblivion we wrestle with every day of our lives. 'Here is a book, full of story, unrepentantly political at every level. At a time when many western writers seem to be in retreat from saying anything that could be construed as political, Alameddine says it all, shamelessly, gloriously and, realised like his Satan, in the most stylish of forms' the Guardian

The Storyteller

release date: Jan 01, 2009
The Storyteller
Osama al-Kharrat left Lebanon at 16 to escape the civil war. He returns after some years, much changed, to find his father bedridden and his family, friends and enemies gathered close, gossiping, making peace, and above all telling stories. Hakawati means storyteller, and Osama's grandfather was one of the best. From Uncle Jihad to the family doctor Tin Can, each member of Osama's circle is joined in a vigil that crosses continents, spans centuries, celebrates love, recounts war, and creates an epic picture of the region: one that is both mythic and painfully real. "Listen. Let me take you on a journey beyond imagining. Let me tell you a story...''

The Perv

release date: Jul 02, 1999
The Perv
A provocative first collection of stories by the author of Koolaids Following the publication of his critically acclaimed first novel, Koolaids, Rabih Alameddine offers a collection of stories that explores the experience of a number of Lebanese characters - men and women, gay and straight--whose lives have been blown apart by a disastrous civil war and the resulting international diaspora. Daring in style as well as content, these tales explore the relationships that anchor our hearts to the world -- father and son, grandson and grandmother, pedophile and 12-year-old boy, young man and woman of the streets, sister and sister, daughter and father, gay man and heterosexual, the quick and their dead. Suffused by a yearning for what has been lost, these narratives are both experimental and traditional, humorous and disturbing, and confirm without doubt that Alemeddine is one of the most original and accomplished young writers to emerge in some time.

I, the Divine Proof

release date: Jun 01, 2002
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