Book Size: 5" x 7.75"

Pages: 240

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781566560559

Imprint: Interlink Books

Edition: 1

Translator: Michelle Hartman

Release date: 07/15/16

Categories: ,

The Weight of Paradise

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$ 15

“A suitcase found in an old Beirut building changes one woman’s understanding of her city, her life, and the world at large…. As in her earlier works, Humaydan is concerned here with the lives of women: their losses, struggles, and victories…. [she] writes incisively about her characters and their fears, frustrations, and, most importantly, their hopes.” – Kirkus Reviews

About this book

While making a documentary film about the reconstruction of downtown Beirut, Maya Amer stumbles upon a battered leather suitcase that will change her life forever.

Inside it she finds letters, photographs, a diary, and an envelope labeled: Letters from Istanbul. The Weight of Paradise is both the story of Maya and her discovery, and also the story of the owner of these papers, Noura Abu Sawwan, a journalist who fled Syria just before the Lebanese civil war to find greater freedom of expression. A multi-voiced, multi-genre narration, it interweaves the stories of these two women and the people who surround them within the fabric of Beirut in the civil war and its immediate aftermath. A love story as well as a story of women's liberation and political freedom, the novel is also the tale of a city and country torn apart by repression, occupation, and war.

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About the authors

Iman Humaydan is a Lebanese novelist, creative writing teacher, editor, and freelance journalist. Her first novel Baa Mithl Beit Mithl Beirut (B is for Beirut) received wide international acclaim and was translated into English, French, Italian, Dutch, German, Armenian, Polish, and Georgian. She is also the author of Wild Mulberries , Other Lives, and The Weight of Paradise, all published in English by Interlink. She is also the editor of the collection of short stories Beirut Noir

Many of her short stories appeared in the cultural pages of Lebanese and Arabic newspapers and magazines such as Mulhak An NaharAs SafirAl Hasna’a, and Sayidati. Humaydan studied anthropology at the American University of Beirut. She wrote Neither Here Nor There: Narratives of the Families of the Disappeared in Lebanon and conducted and published studies on environmental and development issues of post-war Lebanon. 

She is the president the Lebanese chapter of PEN, and splits her time between Beirut and Paris.

Michelle Hartman is Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature and Language at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University. Her main area of research is Modern Arabic Literature, specializing in Lebanese women's writing. She is the translator (with Maher Barakat) of Muhammad Kamil al-Khatib's acclaimed novel Just Like a River.

Reviews

“A suitcase found in an old Beirut building changes one woman’s understanding of her city, her life, and the world at large…. As in her earlier works, Humaydan is concerned here with the lives of women: their losses, struggles, and victories…. [she] writes incisively about her characters and their fears, frustrations, and, most importantly, their hopes.” – Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Michelle Hartman is Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature and Language at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University. Her main area of research is Modern Arabic Literature, specializing in Lebanese women’s writing. She is the translator (with Maher Barakat) of Muhammad Kamil al-Khatib’s acclaimed novel Just Like a River.

Additional information

Author

Humaydan, Iman

Edition

1

Inprint

Interlink Books

Pages

240

Type

PB

Translator

Hartman , Michelle

Release date

07/15/16

Author Home

Lebanon & France

Format

5" x 7.75"

Reviews

"A suitcase found in an old Beirut building changes one woman's understanding of her city , her life , and the world at large…. As in her earlier works , Humaydan is concerned here with the lives of women: their losses , struggles , and victories…. [she] writes incisively about her characters and their fears , frustrations , and , most importantly , their hopes." – Kirkus Reviews

MainReview

"A suitcase found in an old Beirut building changes one woman's understanding of her city, her life, and the world at large…. As in her earlier works, Humaydan is concerned here with the lives of women: their losses, struggles, and victories…. [she] writes incisively about her characters and their fears, frustrations, and, most importantly, their hopes." – Kirkus Reviews