The Illusion of Return: A Novel

Front Cover
Orion Books Limited, 2007 - Arab-Israeli conflict - 154 pages
3 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: The Illusion of Return

User Review  - Andrealiz - Goodreads

Striking and thought provoking. I admit that I do not know a whole lot about the Middle East but this book pricked my interest. Very introspective and offers perspective on the decisions people make during times of war and political unrest. Read full review

Review: The Illusion of Return

User Review  - Elizabeth - Goodreads

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

About the author (2007)

Samir El-Youssef was born in Lebanon and eventually moved to London, where he currently resides. He has worked as a critic and essayist for magazines and newspapers in both English and Arabic, including the "Guardian, The New Statesman, Al-Hayat," and "The Washington Post." He is also the author of a novel and two short story collections in Arabic. El-Youssef received the Swedish PEN Tuchotsky Award in 2005 for promoting peace and freedom of speech in the middle east. "The Illusion of Return" is his first novel in English.

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