Book Size: 5.25" x 8"
Imprint: Interlink Books
Release date: Fall 2023
Awards: Winner of the 2010 Arab American Book Award, Recipient of the RAWI Lifetime Achievement Award (Radius of Arab American Writers)Categories: Books for Beirut, Literature
Master of the Eclipse
By Etel Adnan$ 15
“Precisely observed tales of love, loss, exile and other quotidian matters from Lebanese-American poet/novelist Adnan…[C]areful, impeccably chosen language. Discerns whole worlds in little slices of life.” — Kirkus Reviews
About this book
A new collection of stories about displacement, love, loss, poetry and war, from the Lebanese poet and painter who has been called "arguably the most celebrated and accomplished Arab-American author writing today" (Melus)
The stories in Master of the Eclipse are populated by filmmakers, poets, girls, professors, and prostitutes who live in Beirut, Paris, Sicily, California, Saddam's Iraq, and New York. The world of these stories is ours, with the same occupations and wars- a "world that would be a cemetery" were it not also a place where taxis are "yellow flowers floating down the avenues."
From the collection's title story, a long meditation on history and war, power and poetry, to its concluding tale, a strangely quiet vision of a tree floating in a Damascus stream, Etel Adnan's painterly vision, her cosmopolitan flexibility, and her philosophical bent are on full display. This is a woman, after all, trained in philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley, who became a painter, and then a poet. Her voice comes to us as something the opposite of her title: She is a master of light and revelation, of language, variety, and color.
“Precisely observed tales of love, loss, exile and other quotidian matters from Lebanese-American poet/novelist Adnan… [C]areful, impeccably chosen language. Discerns whole worlds in little slices of life.” — Kirkus Reviews
“The dozen lyrically descriptive stories in this eclectic collection by Lebanese-born poet and novelist Adnan range over a startling period of time and place, from 1930s Beirut through early ’60s San Francisco to the first Gulf War…wise, reflective…richly textured…these powerful emotional tales seem almost magically wrought.” — Publishers Weekly
“An exquisite sensibility (a cross between the mysticism of such great medievals as Rabia and Hildegaard of Bingen and the American lucidity of Emily Dickinson or Lorinne Niedecker) generously infuses Adnan’s evocative prose.” — Ammiel Alcalay, The Nation
“Adnan displays a remarkable sensibility for the precise details that fuse the landscapes of individual and social nightmares… [She] has attained a unique poetic voice.” — The San Francisco Chronicle
“Lebanese-American author and poet Etel Adnan presents ‘Master of the Eclipse’, an anthology of short stories reflecting the shadow that war and death cast upon individual lives. At times dark, giving an all-too-human glimpse of the difficulties of coping with loss, ‘Master of the Eclipse’ nonetheless also gives voice to the human desire to persevere. Elements of autobiography and the author’s all-too-thorough familiarity with the Lebanese Civil War are reflected in this brief yet overwhelmingly compelling tales. Highly recommended, especially to modern world literature shelves.” — Midwest Book Review
“The subtle, unseen forces that shape our world and connect us to one another are brought to light in this collection of short stories. This book covers a wide geographic territory, as well as a vast emotional territory, acknowledging the complexity of heartbreak, regret, disillusionment, loyalty, and belief…This collection reveals a wise, sympathetic, and philosophical author bearing witness to the wide range of human experience.” — Multicultural Review