Book Size: 5.25" x 8"

Pages: 208

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781566560306

Imprint: Interlink Books

Edition: 1

Translator: Paula Haydar

Release date: Fall 2017

Category:

The American Quarter

By

$ 15

“This novel is Douaihy’s most accomplished, subtle, and captivating.” – Livres Hebdo

About this book

A love letter to a city of his childhood, Jabbour Douaihy's The American Quarter is set in a small neighborhood in Tripoli, the ancient port on the northern coast of Lebanon.

Unfolding at the height of the US-led invasion of Iraq, it revolves around the radicalization of an ordinary youth named Ismail. But Ismail's story is part of a larger portrait of those nearest to him: the young disabled brother he looks out for; his father Bilal, a massacre survivor; Intisar, his spirited, indulgent mother, a maid like her mother before her in the wealthy, powerful Azzam household; Abdelkarim, the Azzam family's only son, addicted to poetry and opera, and pining for his lost Polish ballerina-all sharply depicted by Douaihy with irony and affection. As well, Ismail's fate is entwined with the disappointments and meager prospects of those around him in the deteriorating American Quarter, and others forced to crisscross the surrounding conflict-scarred lands.

Somehow Ismail's reckoning with his assigned mission comes to reflect our own struggles- for redemption, for faith in life in the face of destructive forces that can erase in an instant what is dear to us. A classic tale for our time, in a lucid translation by Paula Haydar, The American Quarter is a compassionate work of great beauty. Paying homage to the persistent presence of a beloved old city and her people, it bolsters us with a gifted writer's long view of the threats to trust and tolerance we now face.

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About the authors

Jabbour Douaihy is a celebrated Lebanese novelist born in the town of Zgharta, northern Lebanon, in 1949. He holds a PhD degree in comparative literature from the Sorbonne and works as a professor of French literature at the Lebanese University. He has published seven works of fiction, including June Rain, which was shortlisted for the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008 and The Vagrant, shortlisted for IPAF in 2012. The American Quarter reached the IPAF long list in 2015. His latest novel, Printed in Beirut, will be published by Interlink in 2018.

Paula Haydar is Assistant Professor of Arabic at the University of Arkansas. She holds a PhD degree in comparative literature and an M.F.A. degree in literary translation. She has translated numerous novels by contemporary Lebanese, Palestinian, and Jordanian authors. Her translation of Lebanese novelist Jabbour Douaihy’s June Rain was selected as the highly commended runner-up of the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation and also made the Daily Star’s list of Top Middle East Novels of 2014. Her translations of Lebanese authors also include three novels by Elias Khoury (Gates of the CityThe Journey of Little Gandhi, and The Kingdom of Strangers) and three novels by Rashid al-Daif (This Side of Innocence Learning English, and Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep?). She has also translated Palestinian writer Sahar Khalifeh’s The End of Spring and Adania Shibli’s Touch(Interlink), and Jordanian writer Jamal Naji's Season of Martyrdom. Her most recent translation is Jabbour Douaihy's The American Quarter (Interlink 2018).

Reviews

“This novel is Douaihy’s most accomplished, subtle, and captivating.” – Livres Hebdo

“The Lebanese author Jabbour Douaihy, professor of French literature at the University of Tripoli, immerses his reader in this city, especially in its American neighborhood, among the poorest, which he describes accurately. He explores everyday life, from the souk’s stalls, to the cries of the vegetable vendors, these ‘peasants who smell of damp earth in winter,’ as well as the old sheikh, the soap and fish merchants, the baker who makes cheese galettes that one can eat standing up, ‘against the wall, facing the colorful list of the names of the Prophet’s'” – L’Humanite

“The work of a remarkable writer…imbued with intelligence and humanity…deep empathy with those he writes about…Not only does Douaihy love his city, but…its people…His heroes, ordinary people, struggle in the middle of a story that extends beyond them, in search of a sense of dignity…” – Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun, En attendant Nadeau

“A novel the power of which many documentarians would envy…” – William Irigoyen, La Cite

“Douaihy’s writing is of extreme beauty, concise but full of life…with the fate of its characters intersecting and intertwining…’Transforming the mediocrity of everyday life’ says Douaihy, ‘is the miracle that writing can accomplish.’ When it comes to The American Quarter, the miracle truly occurs'” – Eglal Errera, Le Monde des livres

“With his masterly narrative skills, the author tells the story of Tripoli with great art, through a travel in time taking the reader back to the early twentieth century. Douaihy’s characters are created in the city’s spirit and its words, thereby creating the space where the story unfolds… This is the art of details, par excellence; details that Douaihy perfectly possesses, and with which he weaves a precise panoramic picture of the city of Tripoli.” – Al-Akhbar

About the Author

Paula Haydar is Assistant Professor of Arabic at the University of Arkansas. She holds a PhD degree in comparative literature and an M.F.A. degree in literary translation. She has translated numerous novels by contemporary Lebanese, Palestinian, and Jordanian authors. Her translation of Lebanese novelist Jabbour Douaihy’s June Rain was selected as the highly commended runner-up of the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation and also made the Daily Star’s list of Top Middle East Novels of 2014. Her translations of Lebanese authors also include three novels by Elias Khoury (Gates of the CityThe Journey of Little Gandhi, and The Kingdom of Strangers) and three novels by Rashid al-Daif (This Side of Innocence Learning English, and Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep?). She has also translated Palestinian writer Sahar Khalifeh’s The End of Spring and Adania Shibli’s Touch(Interlink), and Jordanian writer Jamal Naji’s Season of Martyrdom. Her most recent translation is Jabbour Douaihy’s The American Quarter (Interlink 2018).

Additional information

Author

Douaihy, Jabbour

Edition

1

Inprint

Interlink Books

Pages

208

Type

PB

Translator

Haydar , Paula

Release date

Fall 2017

Author Home

Lebanon

Format

5"å_"å x 8"å

Reviews

"This novel is Douaihy's most accomplished , subtle , and captivating."å – Livres Hebdo "å¢ "The Lebanese author Jabbour Douaihy , professor of French literature at the University of Tripoli , immerses his reader in this city , especially in its American neighborhood , among the poorest , which he describes accurately. He explores everyday life , from the souk's stalls , to the cries of the vegetable vendors , these 'peasants who smell of damp earth in winter , ' as well as the old sheikh , the soap and fish merchants , the baker who makes cheese galettes that one can eat standing up , 'against the wall , facing the colorful list of the names of the Prophet's""å – L'Humanite "å¢ "The work of a remarkable writer"imbued with intelligence and humanity"deep empathy with those he writes about"Not only does Douaihy love his city , but"its people"His heroes , ordinary people , struggle in the middle of a story that extends beyond them , in search of a sense of dignity""å – Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun , En attendant Nadeau "å¢ "A novel the power of which many documentarians would envy""å – William Irigoyen , La Cite "å¢ "Douaihy's writing is of extreme beauty , concise but full of life"with the fate of its characters intersecting and intertwining"'Transforming the mediocrity of everyday life' says Douaihy , 'is the miracle that writing can accomplish.' When it comes to The American Quarter , the miracle truly occurs""å – Eglal Errera , Le Monde des livres "å¢ "With his masterly narrative skills , the author tells the story of Tripoli with great art , through a travel in time taking the reader back to the early twentieth century. Douaihy's characters are created in the city's spirit and its words , thereby creating the space where the story unfolds" This is the art of details , par excellence; details that Douaihy perfectly possesses , and with which he weaves a precise panoramic picture of the city of Tripoli."å – Al-Akhbar

MainReview

"This novel is Douaihy's most accomplished, subtle, and captivating."å – Livres Hebdo