Why was the corpse of Khalil Ahmad Jaber found in a mound of rubbish? Why did he disappear weeks before his horrific death? And who was he? A journalist begins to piece the truth together by speaking with his widow, a local engineer, a nightwatchman, the garbage man who discovered him, the doctor who performed the autopsy, and a young militiaman. Their stories underline the horrors of Lebanon's bloody civil war and its ravaging effects on the psyches of the survivors. With empathy and candour, Elias Khoury reveals the havoc the war wreaked on Beirut and its inhabitants, as well as their dogged resilience.
'Khoury [is] arguably the finest living Arab novelist' World Literature Today. 'Khoury is the sort of novelist whose name is inseparable from a city ... The beautiful, resilient city of Beirut belongs to Khoury' Laila Lalami. 'We need the voice of Elias Khoury - detailed, exquisite, humane - more than ever. Read him. Without fail, read him' Naomi Shihab Nye.
Elias Khoury is the author of novels, volumes of literary criticism and plays. He was editor-in-chief of the cultural supplement of Beirut's daily newspaper, An-Nahar, and is Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. In 2012 he was awarded the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for his contribution to the promotion of Arabic culture. Maia Tabet, born in Lebanon, is a literary translator and a professional cook. She translated Khoury's first novel to be published in English, Little Mountain, and has translated a number of prose texts that have appeared in literary magazines.