Correspondents

Tim Murphy. Grove, $27 (448p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2937-6
In this ambitious but schematically plotted novel, Murphy (Christodora) refracts the American experience through the lives of an extended Lebanese-American family from 1912 to the early 21st century. The main character, Rita Khoury, is the daughter of Irish and Lebanese parents. Rita is working as a journalist in Beirut when, in the aftermath of 9/11, she is sent to cover the war in Iraq, and her relationships—with Palestinian and Jewish boyfriends and an Iraqi interpreter—and postings in the Middle East and (later) Washington are drawn to encompass the social and political issues that shaped America and the rest of the world around the turn of the 21st century. Rita is well-developed as a character, but as her and her family and friends’ lives progress through decades punctuated by those issues—including war, gay coming-of-age, racism, and domestic gun violence—they seem less to be participants in history than hostages to it. Murphy’s authorial voice also frequently intrudes in the narrative, as when he uses Arabic words for foods and then immediately explains them in English. The resulting story comes across as more instructive than immersive. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/22/2019
Release date: 05/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 978-0-8021-4704-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-982651-95-4
Paperback - 978-0-8021-4901-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-982651-96-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-982651-94-7
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