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The Wrong End of the Telescope

Author : Rabih Alameddine
Publisher : Grove Press
Release : 2021-09-18
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780802157829

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Book The Wrong End of the Telescope Description/Summary:

By National Book Award and the National Book Critics' Circle Award finalist for An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine, comes a transporting new novel about an Arab American trans woman's journey among Syrian refugees on Lesbos island. Mina Simpson, a Lebanese doctor, arrives at the infamous Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece, after being urgently summoned for help by her friend who runs an NGO there. Alienated from her family except for her beloved brother, Mina has avoided being so close to her homeland for decades. But with a week off work and apart from her wife of thirty years, Mina hopes to accomplish something meaningful, among the abundance of Western volunteers who pose for selfies with beached dinghies and the camp's children. Soon, a boat crosses bringing Sumaiya, a fiercely resolute Syrian matriarch with terminal liver cancer. Determined to protect her children and husband at all costs, Sumaiya refuses to alert her family to her diagnosis. Bonded together by Sumaiya's secret, a deep connection sparks between the two women, and as Mina prepares a course of treatment with the limited resources on hand, she confronts the circumstances of the migrants' displacement, as well as her own constraints in helping them. Not since the inimitable Aaliya of An Unnecessary Woman has Rabih Alameddine conjured such a winsome heroine to lead us to one of the most wrenching conflicts of our time. Cunningly weaving in stories of other refugees into Mina's singular own, The Wrong End of the Telescope is a bedazzling tapestry of both tragic and amusing portraits of indomitable spirits facing a humanitarian crisis.

The Wrong End of the Telescope

Author : Rabih Alameddine
Publisher : Hachette UK
Release : 2021-09-02
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781472156099

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Book The Wrong End of the Telescope Description/Summary:

'A beautiful, well paced, enraging, funny and heartbreaking book' the Guardian 'Spectacular . . . Alameddine's irreverent prose evokes the old master storytellers from my own Middle Eastern home . . . deeply poignant' New York Times Mina Simpson, a Lebanese doctor, arrives at the infamous Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece, after being urgently summoned for help by her friend who runs an NGO there. Alienated from her family except for her beloved brother, Mina has avoided being so close to her homeland for decades. But with a week off work and apart from her wife of thirty years, Mina hopes to accomplish something meaningful, among the abundance of Western volunteers who pose for selfies with beached dinghies and the camp's children. Soon, a boat crosses bringing Sumaiya, a fiercely resolute Syrian matriarch with terminal liver cancer. Determined to protect her children and husband at all costs, Sumaiya refuses to alert her family to her diagnosis. Bonded together by Sumaiya's secret, a deep connection sparks between the two women, and as Mina prepares a course of treatment with the limited resources on hand, she confronts the circumstances of the migrants' displacement, as well as her own constraints in helping them. Not since the inimitable Aaliya of An Unnecessary Woman has Rabih Alameddine conjured such a winsome heroine to lead us to one of the most wrenching conflicts of our time. Cunningly weaving in stories of other refugees into Mina's singular own, The Wrong End of the Telescope is a bedazzling tapestry of both tragic and amusing portraits of indomitable spirits facing this humanitarian crisis. 'Alameddine hits a distinctly contemporary note with this new book about refugees . . . it feels totally authentic' Sunday Times

An Unnecessary Woman

Author : Rabih Alameddine
Publisher : Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Release : 2014-02-04
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780802122148

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Book An Unnecessary Woman Description/Summary:

An obsessive introvert in Beirut, eschewed by her family and neighbors for her divorced status and lack of religious reverence, quietly translates favorite books into Arabic while struggling with her aging body until an unthinkable disaster threatens what little life remains to her. By the best-selling author of The Hakawati. 20,000 first printing.

Roman Fever and Other Stories

Author : Edith Wharton
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2013-11-05
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781439125571

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Book Roman Fever and Other Stories Description/Summary:

A side from her Pulitzer Prize-winning talent as a novel writer, Edith Wharton also distinguished herself as a short story writer, publishing more than seventy-two stories in ten volumes during her lifetime. The best of her short fiction is collected here in Roman Fever and Other Stories. From her picture of erotic love and illegitimacy in the title story to her exploration of the aftermath of divorce detailed in "Souls Belated" and "The Last Asset," Wharton shows her usual skill "in dissecting the elements of emotional subtleties, moral ambiguities, and the implications of social restrictions," as Cynthia Griffin Wolff writes in her introduction. Roman Fever and Other Stories is a surprisingly contemporary volume of stories by one of our most enduring writers.

The Book of Fathers

Author : Miklos Vamos
Publisher : Other Press, LLC
Release : 2009-10-13
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781590513392

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Book The Book of Fathers Description/Summary:

When in 1705 Kornell Csillag's grandfather returns destitute to his native Hungary from exile, he happens across a gold fob-watch gleaming in the mud. The shipwrecked fortunes of the Csillag family suddenly take a new and marvelous turn. The golden watch brings an unexpected gift to the future generations of firstborn sons: clairvoyance. Passed down from father to son, this gift offers the ability to look into the future or back into history–for some it is considered a blessing, for others a curse. No matter the outcome, each generation records its astonishing, vivid, and revelatory visions into a battered journal that becomes known as The Book of Fathers. For three hundred years the Csillag family line meanders unbroken across Hungary's rivers and vineyards, through a land overrun by wolves and bandits, scarred by plague and massacre, and brutalized by despots. Impetuous, tenderhearted, and shrewd, the Csillags give birth to scholars and gamblers, artists and entrepreneurs. Led astray by unruly passions, they marry frigid French noblewomen and thieving alehouse whores. They change their name and their religion, and change them back. They wander from home but always return, and through it all The Book of Fathers bears witness to holocaust and wedding feast alike.

The Japanese Lover

Author : Isabel Allende
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2015-11-03
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781501117008

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Book The Japanese Lover Description/Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende, “a magical and sweeping” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) love story and multigenerational epic that stretches from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during World War II. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family—like thousands of other Japanese Americans—are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world. Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years. Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, The Japanese Lover is written with the same keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits. The Japanese Lover is a moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change.

The Hakawati

Author : Rabih Alameddine
Publisher : Anchor
Release : 2008-04-15
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780307269270

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Book The Hakawati Description/Summary:

In 2003, Osama al-Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father's deathbed. As the family gathers, stories begin to unfold: Osama's grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching tales are interwoven with classic stories of the Middle East. Here are Abraham and Isaac; Ishmael, father of the Arab tribes; the beautiful Fatima; Baybars, the slave prince who vanquished the Crusaders; and a host of mischievous imps. Through Osama, we also enter the world of the contemporary Lebanese men and women whose stories tell a larger, heartbreaking tale of seemingly endless war, conflicted identity, and survival. With The Hakawati, Rabih Alameddine has given us an Arabian Nights for this century.

I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters

Author : Rabih Alameddine
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 2002-10-17
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780393343977

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Book I, The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters Description/Summary:

Named after the "divine" Sarah Bernhardt, red-haired Sarah Nour El-Din is "wonderful, irresistibly unique, funny, and amazing," raves Amy Tan. Determined to make of her life a work of art, she tries to tell her story, sometimes casting it as a memoir, sometimes a novel, always fascinatingly incomplete. "Alameddine's new novel unfolds like a secret... creating a tale...humorous and heartbreaking and always real" (Los Angeles Times). "[W]ith each new approach, [Sarah] sheds another layer of her pretension, revealing another truth about her humanity" (San Francisco Weekly). Raised in a hybrid family shaped by divorce and remarriage, and by Beirut in wartime, Sarah finds a fragile peace in self-imposed exile in the United States. Her extraordinary dignity is supported by a best friend, a grown-up son, occasional sensual pleasures, and her determination to tell her own story. "Like her narrative, [Sarah's] life is broken and fragmented. [But] the bright, strange, often startling pieces...are moving and memorable" (Boston Globe). Reading group guide included.

The Strength of the Sun

Author : Catherine Chidgey
Publisher : Henry Holt and Company
Release : 2013-12-31
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781466861350

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Book The Strength of the Sun Description/Summary:

A mysterious letter-writing campaign bears unexpected consequences in this gifted young writer's intimate exploration of loss and discovery Every contact leaves a trace. But when Colette receives a letter from The Friends of Patrick Mercer about a man lying unconscious in a hospital on the other side of the world, she has no idea who the man might be. Why is she being written to? Hospitalized in England after a car accident, medievalist Patrick Mercer reconstructs his life through memory, dreams, and the inspiration of his treasured illuminated manuscripts. Half a world away, Colette is adjusting to new classes, a new apartment, a new job-and the mysterious "Patrick" letters that keep arriving. Meanwhile, Ruth and Malcolm-whose young son is Colette's charge-are desperately seeking to pick up the pieces of their lives after the terrifying disappearance of their teenage daughter. The Strength of the Sun is a novel about the human desire to make connections, to pick through our lives in search of what can be found among the daily losses. Compassionate, beautifully written, and compelling to the final page, The Strength of the Sun introduces talented new writer Catherine Chidgey to American readers.

Koolaids

Author : Rabih Alameddine
Publisher : Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Release : 2015-09-15
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780802190970

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Book Koolaids Description/Summary:

“Daring, dazzling . . . A tough, funny, heart-breaking book” by the National Book Award–nominated author of An Unnecessary Woman (The Seattle Times). Detailing the impact of the AIDS epidemic in America and the Lebanese civil war in Beirut on a circle of friends and their families during the 1980s and 1990s, this “absolutely brilliant” novel mines the chaos of contemporary experience, telling the stories of characters who can no longer love or think except in fragments (Amy Tan). Clips and quips, vignettes and hallucinations, tragic news reports and hilarious short plays, conversations with both the quick and the dead, all shine their combined lights to reveal the way we experience life today in the debut novel of the author Michael Chabon calls “one of our most daring writers.” “A provocative, emotionally searing series of connected vignettes . . . For a nonlinear novel the images chosen retain a remarkable cohesion. Often sexually frank or jarringly violent, they merge into a graphic portrait of two cultures torn from the inside.” —Publishers Weekly “[A] refreshing statement of honesty and endurance . . . Funny, brave, full of heart and willing to say things about war and disease, sexual and cultural politics that have rarely been said so boldly or directly before.” —The Oregonian “Rabih Alameddine is one rare writer who not only breaks our hearts but gives every broken piece a new life.” —Yiyun Li

Be My Knife

Author : David Grossman
Publisher : A&C Black
Release : 2014-02-13
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781408846308

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Book Be My Knife Description/Summary:

'We could be like two people who inject themselves with truth serum, and at long last have to tell it - the truth I want to be able to say to myself, "I bled truth with her," yes, that's what I want. Be a knife for me, and I, I swear, will be a knife for you.' An awkward, neurotic seller of rare books writes a desperate letter to a beautiful stranger whom he sees at a class reunion. This simple, lonely attempt at seduction begins a love affair of words between Yair and Miriam, two married, middle-aged adults, dissatisfied with their lives, yearning for the connection that has always eluded them - and, eventually, reawakened to feelings that they thought had passed them by. Their correspondence unfolds into an exchange of their most naked confessions: of desire, childhood tragedies, joys, and humiliations. Through the dialogue between Yair - a family man and surprisingly successful adulterer, whose guarded letters reveal a life of duplicity - and Miriam, at first deceptively open and warm, who fills her life with distraction to avoid a past full of painful secrets, BE MY KNIFE explores the nature and the limits of intimacy.

Small Memories

Author : José Saramago
Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release : 2011-05-11
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9780547541549

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Book Small Memories Description/Summary:

The Nobel Prize–winning author of Blindness recalls the days of his youth in Lisbon and the Portuguese countryside in this charming memoir. José Saramago was eighteen months old when he moved from the village of Azinhaga with his father and mother to live in Lisbon. But he would return to the village throughout his childhood and adolescence to stay with his maternal grandparents, illiterate peasants in the eyes of the outside world, but a fount of knowledge, affection, and authority to young José. Small Memories traces the formation of a man who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers. Shifting between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this mosaic of memories looks back into the author’s boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family’s blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago’s early encounters with literature, from teaching himself to read to poring over a Portuguese-French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière.

The Dinner Party

Author : Joshua Ferris
Publisher : Little, Brown
Release : 2017-05-02
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780316465977

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Book The Dinner Party Description/Summary:

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year: The first collection of short stories from the critically acclaimed, prize-winning author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour These eleven stories by Joshua Ferris, many of which were first published in The New Yorker, are at once thrilling, strange, and comic. The modern tribulations of marriage, ambition, and the fear of missing out as the temptations flow like wine and the minutes of life tick down are explored with the characteristic wit and insight that have made Ferris one of our most critically acclaimed novelists. Each of these stories burrows deep into the often awkward and hilarious misunderstandings that pass between strangers and lovers alike, and that turn ordinary lives upside down. Ferris shows to what lengths we mortals go to coax human meaning from our very modest time on earth, an effort that skews ever-more desperately in the direction of redemption. There's Arty Groys, the Florida retiree whose birthday celebration involves pizza, a prostitute, and a life-saving heart attack. There's Sarah, the Brooklynite whose shape-shifting existential dilemma is set in motion by a simple spring breeze. And there's Jack, a man so warped by past experience that he's incapable of having a normal social interaction with the man he hires to help him move out of storage. The stories in The Dinner Party are about lives changed forever when the reckless gives way to possibility and the ordinary cedes ground to mystery. And each one confirms Ferris's reputation as one of the most dazzlingly talented, deeply humane writers at work today.

The Perv

Author : Rabih Alameddine
Publisher : Picador
Release : 1999-07-02
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 0312200412

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Book The Perv Description/Summary:

A provocative first collection of stories by the author of Koolaids Following the publication of his critically acclaimed first novel, Koolaids, Rabih Alameddine offers a collection of stories that explores the experience of a number of Lebanese characters - men and women, gay and straight--whose lives have been blown apart by a disastrous civil war and the resulting international diaspora. Daring in style as well as content, these tales explore the relationships that anchor our hearts to the world -- father and son, grandson and grandmother, pedophile and 12-year-old boy, young man and woman of the streets, sister and sister, daughter and father, gay man and heterosexual, the quick and their dead. Suffused by a yearning for what has been lost, these narratives are both experimental and traditional, humorous and disturbing, and confirm without doubt that Alemeddine is one of the most original and accomplished young writers to emerge in some time.

Russian Winter

Author : Daphne Kalotay
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release : 2010-09-07
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780062010650

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Book Russian Winter Description/Summary:

“Daphne Kalotay captivates in a soaring debut novel. An elegant, compelling puzzle of family, memory and solitude that brings to life modern-day Boston and postwar Russia through a profound love story. Graceful, moving, and unexpected.” —Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club In Russian Winter, the beautiful debut novel by critically acclaimed writer Daphne Kalotay, a famed ballerina’s jewelry auction in Boston reveals long-held secrets of love and family, friendship and rivalry, harkening back to Stalinist Russia. Called “tender, passionate, and moving” by Jenna Blum, the New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us, Russian Winter is a perfect choice for fans of the novels of Debra Dean (The Madonnas of Leningrad), Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), and Ian McEwan (Atonement).

The End of Everything

Author : Katie Mack
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2021-05-04
Category : Science
ISBN : 9781982103552

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Book The End of Everything Description/Summary:

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020 NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY * THE WASHINGTON POST * THE ECONOMIST * NEW SCIENTIST * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY * THE GUARDIAN From one of the most dynamic rising stars in astrophysics, an “engrossing, elegant” (The New York Times) look at five ways the universe could end, and the mind-blowing lessons each scenario reveals about the most important concepts in cosmology. We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now? Dr. Katie Mack has been contemplating these questions since she was a young student, when her astronomy professor informed her the universe could end at any moment, in an instant. This revelation set her on the path toward theoretical astrophysics. Now, with lively wit and humor, she takes us on a mind-bending tour through five of the cosmos’s possible finales: the Big Crunch, Heat Death, the Big Rip, Vacuum Decay (the one that could happen at any moment!), and the Bounce. Guiding us through cutting-edge science and major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and much more, The End of Everything is a wildly fun, surprisingly upbeat ride to the farthest reaches of all that we know.

Alec

Author : William di Canzio
Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release : 2021-07-06
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9780374722463

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Book Alec Description/Summary:

William di Canzio’s Alec, inspired by Maurice, E. M. Forster’s secret novel of a happy same-sex love affair, tells the story of Alec Scudder, the gamekeeper Maurice Hall falls in love with in Forster’s classic, published only after the author's death. Di Canzio follows their story past the end of Maurice to the front lines of battle in World War I and beyond. Forster, who tried to write an epilogue about the future of his characters, was stymied by the radical change that the Great War brought to their world. With the hindsight of a century, di Canzio imagines a future for them and a past for Alec—a young villager possessed of remarkable passion and self-knowledge. Alec continues Forster’s project of telling stories that are part of “a great unrecorded history.” Di Canzio’s debut novel is a love story of epic proportions, at once classic and boldly new.

Once Was Lost

Author : Sara Zarr
Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release : 2009-10-01
Category : Juvenile Fiction
ISBN : 9780316072397

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Book Once Was Lost Description/Summary:

Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town is kidnapped, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already-worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel. In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed---about God, about your family, about yourself---is transformed.