"Los Angeles has Joan Didion and Raymond Chandler, and Istanbul, Orhan Pamuk. The beautiful, resilient city of Beirut belongs to Khoury."-Laila Lalami,
From the author of and "one of the most innovative novelists in the Arab World" () comes the many-layered story of Little Gandhi, or Abd Al-Karim, a shoe shine in a city fractured by war. Shot down in the street, Gandhi's story is recounted by an aging and garrulous prostitute named Alice.
Ingeniously embedding stories within stories, becomes the story of a city, Beirut, in the grip of civil war. Once again, as John Leonard wrote in , Elias Khoury "fills in the blank spaces on the Middle Eastern map in our Western heads."
Karim Chammas returns to Lebanon, his family, and his past after ten years of establishing a new life in France. Back in Beirut, Karim reacquaints himself with his brother Nassim, now married to his former love Hind, and old friends from the leftist political circles within which he once roamed under the nom de guerre Sinalcol. By the end of his six-month stay, he has been reintroduced to the chaos of cultural, religious and political battles that continue to rage in Lebanon. Overwhelmed by the experiences of his return, Karim is forced to contemplate his identity and his place in Lebanon's history. The story of Karim and his family is born of other stories that intertwine to form an imposing fresco of Lebanese society over the past fifty years. examines the roots of an endemic civil war and a country's unsettled past.
Written in the opening phases of the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), is told from the perspectives of three characters: a Joint Forces fighter; a distressed civil servant; and an amorphous figure, part fighter, part intellectual. Elias Khoury's language is poetic and piercing as he tells the story of Beirut, civil war, and fractured identity.
Gate of the Sun is the first magnum opus of the Palestinian saga. After their country is torn apart in 1948, two men remain alone in a deserted makeshift hospital in the Shatila camp on the outskirts of Beirut. We enter a vast world of displacement, fear, and tenuous hope. Khalil holds vigil at the bedside of his patient and spiritual father, a storied leader of the Palestinian resistance who has slipped into a coma. As Khalil attempts to revive Yunes, he begins a story, which branches into many. Stories of the people expelled from their villages in Galilee, of the massacres that followed, of the extraordinary inner strength of those who survived, and of love. Khalil — like Elias Khoury — is a truth collector, trying to make sense of the fragments and various versions of stories that have been told to him. His voice is intimate and direct, his memories are vivid, his humanity radiates from every page. Khalil lets his mind wander through time, from village to village, from one astonishing soul to another, and takes us with him. Gate of the Sun is a Palestinian Odyssey. Beautifully weaving together haunting stories of survival and loss, love and devastation, memory and dream, Khoury humanizes the complex Palestinian struggle as he brings to life the story of an entire people.
Yalo propels us into a skewed universe of brutal misunderstanding, of love and alienation, of self-discovery and luminous transcendence. At the center of the vortex stands Yalo, a young man drifting between worlds like a stray dog on the streets of Beirut during the Lebanese civil war. Living with his mother who "lost her face in the mirror," he falls in with a dangerous circle whose violent escapades he treats as a game. The game becomes a horrifying reality, however, when Yalo is accused of rape and armed robbery, and is imprisoned. Tortured and interrogated at length, he is forced to confess to crimes of which he has little or no recollection. As he writes, and rewrites his testimony, he begins to grasp his family’s past, and the true Yalo begins to emerge. Ha’aretz calls Yalo "a heartbreaking book. . hypnotic in beauty.
Why was the corpse of Khalil Ahmad Jaber found in a mound of garbage? Why had this civil servant disappeared weeks before his horrific death? Who was this man? A journalist begins to piece together an answer by speaking with his widow, a local engineer, a watchman, the garbage man who discovered him, the doctor who performed the autopsy, and a young militiaman. Their stories emerge, along with the horrors of Lebanon’s bloody civil war and its ravaging effects on the psyches of the survivors. With empathy and candor, Elias Khoury reveals the havoc the war wreaked on Beirut and its inhabitants, as well as the resilience of a people.
Milia's response to her new husband Mansour and to the Arab World of 1947 is to close her eyes and drift into parallel worlds. Identities shift. Present, past, and future mingle and merge: she finds herself able to converse with the dead and foresee the future. As the novel progresses in glimpses, Milia's dreams become more navigable than the strange and obstinate "reality" in which she finds herself, and the two realms grow ever more entangled. This wondrous tapestry of love, faith, history, poetry, and vision cuts to the very heart of the deep-rooted conflicts of the region and breaks new literary ground.