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A twelve-year-old girl writes an essay that extols revenge to impress her teacher, and is surprised to receive criticism rather than praise. ‘Revenge’, Mrs Nomy insists, is ‘the most cowardly’ human behaviour.
Years later, having fled Beirut, she reflects upon the devastating role revenge has played in her country. Might she have found it so easy to forgive if she had stayed? Or might she, too, have contemplated retribution?
A compelling and humane book, which abounds in courage and compassion.
About the Author
Mai Ghoussoub, artist, author and playwright, left Beirut for London in 1979, where she co-founded Saqi. Her art has been exhibited internationally, and her play Texterminators was performed in London, Liverpool and Beirut in 2006. Her many publications include Leaving Beirut, Imagined Masculinities, with Emma Sinclair-Webb, and Artists and Vitrines, with Shaheen Merali. Her stories have appeared in Hikayat: Short Stories by Lebanese Women and Lebanon, Lebanon. She was a regular contributor to al-Hayat and openDemocracy.
‘One of those rare books that leaves its readers able to breathe more deeply, with a renewed sense that life, for all its cruelties, is beautiful.’
‘A writer, artist and publisher who took her passion for life, controversy and feminism to the streets of Beirut and London.’
Malu Halasa, Guardian
‘A tangled and creative mix of memoir, fiction, recollection, old-fashioned yarn-spinning, postmodern pastiche, literary criticism and methodically plotted political essay.’
The Daily Star
'One of the most poignant testimonies to the Lebanese civil war.'