Beirut Blues: A Novel

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Anchor Books, 1996 - Fiction - 371 pages
2 Reviews
Asmahan writes letters - to make sense of her life and to preserve her fond memories of Beirut as it existed before civil strife destroyed it forever. Evocative, sensual, funny, and poignant, the letters - which are unlikely to ever reach their destinations - conjure up, with passion and disarming honesty, a woman's life and loves in a ravaged city, as well as her sense of being a hostage in her own country. As she writes, one story grows out of another. Vividly, passionately, and yet with clear-sighted humor, she records the astonishing details of her existence, her feelings about lovers past and present, her family, her reactions to the war and its violent social and political upheavals, as well as her relationships with other women who have responded to the chaos in radically different ways. What emerges is an intimate, engaging portrait and a delicately interwoven pattern of events and characters.

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User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

In the beginning, reading Beirut Blues seems like being dropped in the middle of a multi-person conversation without knowing who is involved or what they are talking about. There is a tedium to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mabroms - LibraryThing

Unusual book - fictional "memoir" of a group of upper class Lebanese Muslim/Palestinian intellectuals who individually chose different paths during the conflicts of the late '60's to '90's. Most chose ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Hanan al-Shaykh was born & raised in Lebanon. She is the author of three novels - "Women of Sand & Myrrh", "The Story of Zahra" & "Beirut Blues" - as well as a collection of short stories, "I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops". She currently lives in London with her husband & two children.

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