In Search of a Prophet: A Spiritual Journey with Kahlil Gibran

Paul-Gordon Chandler. Rowman & Littlefield, $19.95 (184p) ISBN 978-1-5381-0427-9
Chandler blends memoir and biography in this introductory exploration of poet Kahlil Gibran’s influences, writings, and impact. He traces Gibran’s life from his birth in Lebanon in 1883 and his immigration to the United States in 1895 to his return to the Middle East in 1899 and his encounters with leading artistic figures in Europe before his death in 1931. Each chapter centers on a key work of Gibran’s, with ample excerpts to get a sense of his style and messages. This orderly chronology will help readers fill in details and get a better sense of what events shaped Gibran’s work, including personal losses, World War I, and the dislocation of being an immigrant. Those unfamiliar with the poet’s work will gain solid insights into how and why Gibran sought out universal reconciliation of the religious impulses stemming from his Maronite Catholic upbringing, his Arab identity, and his Western education. Chandler includes anecdotes from his own travels, including (but not exclusively) to sites related to Gibran’s life. These asides muddle more than illuminate his key points, often having very loose connections to the central narrative. Though this is not an entirely successful mash-up, it provides a solid introduction to Gibran and his complex work. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 200 pages - 978-1-5381-0428-6
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