Interlink Books
1-800-238-LINK About Interlink Free Catalog How to Order Contact Us Checkout


advanced search
What's New
Fall 2018
Just Published
Forthcoming Titles
Gift Ideas by Region-> (222)
Photography (8)
Textiles-> (46)
History & Politics-> (473)
World Travel-> (727)
International Cooking-> (142)
World Literature-> (663)
Caribbean Classics (15)
Irish Humor (1)
Literary Criticism (4)
Fiction (187)
Poetry (37)
Biography & Memoirs (134)
International Folk Tales Series (16)
Scottish Classics (52)
Scottish Humor (84)
Drama (6)
Interlink World Fiction (87)
Travel Literature (40)
Clockroot Books (15)
Children's Books-> (190)
Music & Dance-> (27)
Film Studies-> (9)
Reference-> (84)
Foreign Languages (13)
Art-> (27)
Sports and Recreation-> (26)
Paranormal (19)
Illustrated Gift Books-> (84)
Books by Country
Books by Region
Antarctica & the Arctic
Australia & the Pacific
Central Asia
Eastern Europe
Indian Subcontinent
Latin America & the Carib..
Middle East & North Afric..
North America
Northeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Western Europe
Complete Catalog
Interlink Books booklist
About Interlink
How to Order
Submission Guidelines
Newsletter Signup

Fall 2016 Newsletters
Pane Cafone from Panetteria
Gift bookmark Soup for Syria
Order a Catalog
Contact Us

My Account
Join Our Mailing List
Shopping Cart more
0 items

Embers and Ashes
Memoirs of an Arab Intellectual
Hisham Sharabi; translated by Issa Boullata

5 1/4" x 8" • 186 pages
ISBN 9781566567022 • paperback • $15.00

Hisham Sharabi (1927-2005) was a distinguished Palestinian intellectual and an outspoken critic of traditional Arab society and culture. Despite his wealthy family and his upbringing as a member of the privileged class, his conscious self-analysis after the 1967 Arab defeat by Israel led him to radically change his former bourgeois outlook on his society and its culture.

Written in a simple language, Embers and Ashes tells of Sharabi's childhood and boyhood in Palestine, his youth and initial political activism as a university student in Lebanon, and his life and education as a graduate student in the US. He brings his newly acquired self-analysis and sociocultural criticism to bear on the story of each of these phases.  As a boy happily growing up in Palestine, he observes how he was unconsciously indoctrinated in the values of his wealthy class, despite the beautiful memories he retains of his early life. In Lebanon, he observes the same imposed values and especially the authoritarian attitudes of his Arab professors at the university and of the leadership of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party he joined (although he describes in chilling detail the lamentable manner in which the Party's leader, Antun Sa'adah, with whom he was on intimate terms, was put to death by the authorities of Lebanon after a plot and a summary trial). In the United States he appreciates the freedom that his American professors allowed him in forming his own views and learning to defend them; he forms his first romantic relationships; and he observes the unbecoming behavior of some Arab students-even as he and they all hear about debacles in far-off Palestine and the Arab world.

Although Sharabi wrote many books in English and Arabic expressing his insights into the flaws of Arab societal structure, culture, and politics, it is his autobiography, Embers and Ashes: Memoirs of an Arab Intellectual, published in Arabic in 1978, that offers a candid and poignant account of his own personal formation and development.

Hisham Sharabi was born in Jaffa, Palestine, in 1927 and studied philosophy for a BA (1947) at the American University of Beirut and an MA (1948) at the University of Chicago, then earned a Ph.D. (1953) in the history of culture also at the University of Chicago. A professor of history at Georgetown University in Washington, DC until his retirement in 1998, he also taught as a visiting professor at the American University of Beirut. He wrote extensively on the Arab world in English and Arabic. His works include Nationalism and Revolution in the Arab World (1966), Arab Intellectuals and the West: The Formative Phase 1875-1914 (1970), Introduction to the Study of Arab Society (1978), and Neopatriarchy: Theory of Distorted Change in Arab Society (1988). He also edited the Journal of Palestine Studies and published a novel in Arabic. He died in Beirut in 2005.

Born in Jerusalem, Palestine, in 1929, Issa J. Boullata (Ph.D., University of London, 1969) is a former professor of Arabic literature at McGill University, Montreal. He is a literary scholar, critic, editor, and translator with many publications in English and Arabic. He has also published a novel in Arabic and a number of short stories in English, and edited several scholarly journals, including The Muslim World  and  Al-'Arabiyya, and guest-edited Oral Tradition: Arabic Oral Traditions (1989). He is currently contributing editor of Banipal: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature. His book Trends and Issues in Contemporary Arab Thought (1990) is an analysis of contemporary Arab thought, especially in the years following the June 1967 war in the Middle East.

Media Reviews
"Embers and Ashes represents more than a simple autobiography.  Powerfully invoking themes of independence, freedom and modernity, it constitutes part and parcel of the Arab national and cultural struggle since the renaissance of the nineteenth century. Beautifully translated into English by Issa Boullata... with his masterful rendition Professor Boullata has done a great service to world literature and to modern Arab culture, literature and thought."
--Bassam K. Frangieh, Banipal

Submit a Review »

Of Related Interest:
Palestine (2nd ed.)
Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
War on Lebanon, The
Homes of the Heart
Revising Culture, Reinventing Peace
Speaking the Truth
Kahlil Gibran
My Jerusalem