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House of Stone: a Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East Hardcover – August 2, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Six pages into this book, I said to myself, if Anthony Shadid continues like this, this book will be a classic. And page by page, he did continue, and he wrote a honest-to-God, hands-down, undeniable and instant classic. This is a book about war, and terrible loss, and a troubled region, and his own tattered family history, yes, but it's written with the kind of levity and candor and lyricism we associate with, say, Junot Diaz -- and that makes the book, improbably, both a compulsive read and one you don't want to end. I have no idea how Shadid pulled all this off while talking about the history of modern Lebanon, how he balanced ribald humor and great warmth with the sorrow woven into a story like this, but anyway, we should all be grateful that he did."-- Dave Eggers, author of "Zeitoun "and "What Is the What" "Anthony Shadid's beautifully rendered memoir is a rich account of a man's gradual immersion into the world of the Middle East and the culture of the Levant, a kingdom almost unrecognizable today, where the rooms and hallways of his great-grandfather's house tell stories that will linger with every reader for decades." -- Andre Aciman, author of "Out of Egypt" ""House of Stone" is poignant, aching, and at times laugh-out-loud funny . . . Shadid's writing is so lyrical it's like hearing a song." -- David Finkel, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Good Soldier" ""House of Stone" is a haunting, beautifully realized piece of writing." -- Nick Flynn, author of "The Ticking Is the Bomb" "What a beautiful introduction to a world that I knew so little about. "House of Stone" is engaging, poignant, and funny." -- Abraham Verghese, author of "Cutting for Stone" "I was captivated, instantly, by Anthony Shadid's lushly evocative prose. Crumbling Ottoman outposts, doomed pashas, and roving bandits feel immediate, familiar, and relevant. Lose yourself in these pages, where empires linger, grandparents wander, and a battered Lebanon beckons us home. Sav

About the Author

Anthony Shadid was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and former Baghdad bureau chief of the Washington Post. Over a fifteen-year career, he reported from most countries in the Middle East. He won his first Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his coverage of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. He won a second in 2010. Shadid is the author of Legacy of the Prophet: Despots, Democrats and the New Politics of Islam (2001), and Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War (2005), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Shadid died of an asthma attack while attempting to leave Syria on horseback in February 2012.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; 1St Edition edition (August 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847087353
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847087355
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,592,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew D. Oram on August 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Shadid shows us a rich, three-dimensional view of his ancestors' town, exploring the fascinating characters he met there as well as his own ambivalent but powerful feelings for that long-neglected and abused area of Lebanon. His goals are quite audacious, though, linking the troubled lives he gets to know in the fading town of Majayoun (and the lives of his own family) with the waves of historical and sociological change that swept over the whole Middle East. Here he is less successful, because he does not attempt a rigorous historical analysis (nor would one want one, in this beautifully lyrical book) but it means that the reader is left with only vague impressions of the forces tearing the country apart. Nor does it become clear why Shadid was so determined to spend his assets and a critical year of his life on the quixotic project of rebuilding on the site of his great-grandfather's house. Nevertheless, the venture seems worth it all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diana Glasgow on July 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary book, quite different than anything I've read about the region. This is a personal, intimate and familial history, told by a journalist who knows Oklahoma as well as Lebanon. Who speaks native American English, French and Arabic and travels back to a 'homeland' to reclaim and refurbish a family home in a Lebanese village filled with cousins. In a one year supposed 'sabbatical' from being a war correspondent, Anthony Shadid shares details of the culture and history, of the impact and nature of generational war, in a natural, humorous and exquisitely informed way. Highly recommended, on so many levels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By patricia wasson on June 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book reads as though Anthony Shadid, the author, is actually talking to you. Very informative on social issues in the Middle East and he has enormous empathy for his ancesters and friends of his village. Lots of gentle humour, great patience and understanding of the history of the region, I was extremely sad to read that an asthma attack had killed Anthony at such a young age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kavi on February 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lovely, lovely book. It was gripping and heart breaking, without being dreary. The characters were wonderfully vivid. I recommend it highly.
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