Paul Harris's Reviews > The Illusion of Return

The Illusion of Return by Samir El-Youssef
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
4856618
's review
Jan 22, 11


Intimate and touching, El-Youseff's book is about a Palestinian emigre in London looking back on an intense period of his life in Lebanon where he grew up. A brief Heathrow rendez-vous with an old friend, now 'exiled' as a 'collaborator' in the USA, is the book's fulcrum as the narrator recounts how the events transpired leading up to a final night of four friends together for a last time before the dramatic circumstances of 1980s Lebanon catch up with them all.



As the story unfolds it becomes clear that the narrator has kept a family secret from the world all these years. The situation of the Palestinian refugees is the backdrop to an expose of the hypocrisy encountered behind 'the movement'-led resistance. The illusion of return in the title is the realisation the author comes to that there is no chance of any return but a symbolic one. For him, when a people has nothing to dream of or aspire to it will resort to a collective living in the past, as if that memory will succour them indefinitely. Sensitively written, this book is an interesting and original approach to the subject.
likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Illusion of Return.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.