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The Return To Beirut

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  10 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Sybil, a young American, meets her grandmother in Beirut for the first time as Lebanon stands on the brink of civil war. Andre Chedid's hymn for a dying country uses flashbacks, memories and images to depict the smells, sights and sounds of the Lebanon before and during the conflict.
Paperback, 158 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Serpent's Tail
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Benny Morduchowitz
Feb 07, 2016 Benny Morduchowitz rated it it was ok
Shelves: translations
3.4 stars. I felt the portions set in 1932 were very strong, characters and setting felt vibrant and fully realized, but the 1970s present felt half-formed and full of heavy handed symbolism and archetypal characters. Perhaps things were lost in translation, but I felt the more experimental moments in the language didn't work too well either, though it was the dichotomy between the chronology of peace/war was abundantly clear. Kalya was a wonderfully fleshed out character though, as were Nouza, ...more
Claudia
Oct 20, 2013 Claudia rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the the author's style very much. It reminds us all of the kindness of love and the cruelty of war.
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Clare
Apr 11, 2017 Clare rated it liked it
A bit strange, this story, in that the lead up to the climax starts on the first page and proceeds like a slow motion filmstrip through the book, while the author weaves the stories of her characters around it. And then, abruptly, it ends. The author writes like an artist paints, creating resonant images and conveying feelings that feel familiar, both in Lebanon and in Egypt, in the characters and their world, which I seem to have glimpsed enough that I recognise them while never having lived th ...more
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107699
Andrée Chedid was a French poet and novelist of Christian Lebanese descent.

When she was ten, she was sent to a boarding school, where she learned English and French. At fourteen, she left for Europe. She then returned to Cairo to go to an American university. Her dream was to become a dancer. She got married to a physician when she was twenty-two, with whom she has two children: Louis Chedid, now
...more
More about Andrée Chedid...

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