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The Return to Beirut Paperback – January 1, 1990

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (January 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852421495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852421496
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 7.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,952,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lebanon on the brink of civil war is the setting for this sensitive, deftly written novel that opposes the bravery of women who want to heal their country to the bravado of men who would tear it asunder. Kalya, a French resident of Lebanese background, comes to Beirut in July 1975 to vacation with Sybil, the American-born granddaughter she is meeting for the first time. Chedid ( The Sixth Day ) juxtaposes scenes between them with Kalya's memories of her youth in the 1930s and her relationship with her own grandmother to weave an integral whole. Lebanon is depicted as a country of great natural beauty and luxury, unhappily scarred by poverty and infested with arms traffickers. Hostility between Christian and Moslem factions simmers just below the surface of daily life. Men pull weapons on one another for show, armed bands can stop anyone and demand to see their identification papers. As the political situation deteriorates further, two young women, one Christian and one Moslem, plot to stem the tide of violence with a dangerous public display of reconciliation--into which Kalya and Sybil are drawn.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Language Notes

Text: English
Original Language: French

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
I suppose few North Americans are thinking about Lebanon's civil war these days, but this book is definately worth reading. It's set against the (recent) turmoil in Beirut--but is about much more than that. Its structure interweaves three stories taking place at three different times of at least 5 generations of a Lebanese family--those who emigrated and those who remained in their homeland. As the three narratives converge over the course of the novel, the reader is left with a rich sense of the impact of civil unrest on individuals, familes and the future of a country.
The author is a poet, and one can easily see this in her choice of language. This is a difficult (and sometime violent) topic, but an important exploration of unrest in a "third world" country.
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