I was greeted with excellent news this morning whilst reading the UAE's daily newspaper, The National, regarding author Rabih Alameddine. The Lebanese-American author has just released a 'follow-up' to his book 'The Hakawti', or Storyteller, which I simply adored reading (See my review by clicking HERE).
The title of Alameddine's new release, 'An Unnecessary Woman', is narrated in the voice of a 72-year-old 'obsessively introverted' Lebanese woman. According to Alameddine's website, the book also 'reveals Beirut's beauties and horrors along the way'.
According to the newspaper, Alameddine described his book as 'quieter' than its predecessor although I would caution that adjectives generally take on a life of their own when pertaining to the works of Alameddine. There is rarely anything 'quiet' about this author's work no matter his claims.
I cannot wait until it hits the bookstores here or I might just get it on my next trip to the UK in a few weeks. Will definitely keep you updated on that one.
What the book is about (from amazon.co.uk)
Aaliya Saleh lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family's "unnecessary appendage." Every year, she translates a new favorite book into Arabic, then stows it away. The thirty-seven books that Aaliya has translated over her lifetime have never been read--by anyone.
In this breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman's late-life crisis, readers follow Aaliya's digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut. Colourful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and Aaliya's own volatile past.
As she tries to overcome her ageing body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left. A love letter to literature and its power to define who we are, the prodigiously gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman's life in the Middle East.