30 July 07 | Chad W. Post

Interesting article in The Guardian (one of the best papers for arts and books coverage, in my opinion) on Elias Khoury and his fears about chaos in Lebanon.

Khoury is most well-known here for Gate of the Sun, which Archipelago Books published to great acclaim. (The paperback edition —a RTW 2007 book—is now available from Picador.)

Here’s a brief description of the book:

Khoury says his aim in Gate of the Sun was to write a great love story. As Dr Khaleel, a paramedic in the makeshift Galilee hospital in Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp, keeps vigil by the bedside of Yunis, a comatose Palestinian resistance fighter of his father’s generation, he tells stories from the fighter’s life, and his own, like a Sheherazade trying to stave off death. Soon after 1948, when the Lebanon-Israel border was still porous, Yunis would meet his wife Naheeleh in the cave in Galilee that gives the novel its title. Along with everyday tales of flight and dispossession, the book traces the enmeshed histories of Lebanon and Palestine, from the 1930s to the 1990s, centring on the 1982 massacres in the Sabra and Shatila camps.

Yalo, a new novel by Khoury is forthcoming from Archipelago Books. And hopefully an excerpt will be available online soon . . .

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