The Illusion of Return: A Novel

Front Cover
Halban Publishers, 2007 - Arab-Israeli conflict - 154 pages
4 Reviews

After 17 years, the narrator and his friend, Ali, meet at Heathrow and slowly remember their past in Lebanon. Their memories are concentrated on one fatal night when they were with two other friends for the last time, before tragedy struck. But for the narrator, a personal tragedy had occurred much earlier¿

Both the narrator and Ali are Palestinians born in Lebanon. Like many others, they had to leave in the mid-1980s, when it became a battleground for local armies - Ali to America, the narrator to London.

But this is not just a story about suffering, it is also about absurd politics and violence - about a world where tragedy and comedy co-exist.

A poignant story that lingers long after one has finished it.


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Review: Illusion of Return (The Contemporary Art of the Novella)

User Review  - Elizabeth - Goodreads

This novella is elusive and haunting...I know it will linger with me for a long time. Read full review

Review: Illusion of Return (The Contemporary Art of the Novella)

User Review  - Susan - Goodreads

Fifteen years after leaving Lebanon, a Palestinian living in London hears from an old friend. The memory of their last meeting brings back stories that reflect the realities of a city and culture fractured by division and violence. Powerful, thoughtful, often wryly funny. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Samir El-Youssef is Palestinian and was born in Rashidia, a refugee camp in Lebanon. His essays and reviews have appeared in Guardian, New Statesman, Washington Post, Jewish Quarterly as well as the Arabic Al-Hayat. He has been living in North London since 1990. In 2005 he won the Tucholsky Award for promoting the cause of peace and freedom of speech in the Middle East. The Illusion of Return is his first novel in English.

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