Feb 20, 2011
I first learned of Siri Hustvedt when a friend of mine told me she was reading her fourth novel, “The Sorrows of an American“, in which the author explores family connectedness, loss, grief and art, through the eyes and voice of a New York psychoanalyst. To entertain my ever-growing fascination with psychology, my friend ended up gifting me the book, foregoing her initial hesitation due to...
Jan 22, 2011
In May 2010, I attended “A Meeting with Rabih Alameddine”, organized by the Anis Makdisi Program in Literature and ASSABIL, Friends of Public Libraries, which also coincided with the publication of his latest book, “The Hakawat”. At the time, I was reading his novel “I, the Divine: A Novel in First Chapters”, after one of my closest friends introduced me to his writings by way of gifting me...
Nov 21, 2010
“[...] As Adrianna Cavarero contends, we are dependent on each other to narrate our lives (1997) … The stories we tell about ourselves, about others, about world events, about the past, about our political beliefs, about our identities are not just simply social and political constructions but elaborations of our psychic dramas. Also, if our stories always implicate the other – because...
Sep 28, 2010
I don’t think I’ll ever stop singing the praises of David Eagleman’s superb collection of short-stories, “Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives.” I remember when I bought it, I was wandering the aisles and stacks of books at Virgin and it stood out with its smart cover and catchy reviews. When I started reading the jacket and flipping through the pages, there was no way...
Sep 12, 2010
A few weeks ago, I was having a Twitter conversation with my friend @Seleucid about god and the creation of the universe. The discussion grew from British physicist Stephen Hawking’s claim in his new book, “The Grand Design”, that god didn’t create the universe and that the Big Bang was inevitable due to the law of gravity.
@Seleucid asked: Why does a God who runs the world so...
Aug 23, 2010
By the River Ibrahim I Sat Down and Read… “Death at Intervals” by Jose Saramago
“Death at Intervals” is set in an unnamed country where on the first day of the new year, people stop dying. Death is on strike. The residents are jubilant at first, but soon enough they being to suffer. Death does return eventually, but with a new courteous approach – delivering violent warning letters to...
Aug 22, 2010
Last Friday, I finished reading the autobiography-cum-historical account “Strangers in the House” by Raja Shehadeh.
Drawing from the jacket, “Shehadeh was born into a successful Palestinian family with a beautiful house in Jaffa, overlooking the Mediterranean. When the State of Israel was formed in 1948, the family were driven out of the provincial town of Ramallah. There Shehadeh grew up...
Mar 3, 2010
A very good friend of mine gifted me this book on my 29th birthday. Don’t be put off by the long and odd title. The book is a gem and one of my all-time favorite books.
The story goes like this: It’s 1946 and author Juliet Ashton can’t think of what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance he’s acquired a book that once...