The Return to Beirut

Andree Chedid, Author, Andrc)E Chedid, Author, Andra(c)E Chedid, Author Serpent's Tail $10.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-85242-149-6
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. ( Apr. )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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