Picture of author.

Rabih Alameddine

Teoksen An Unnecessary Woman tekijä

12+ teosta 2,869 jäsentä 144 arvostelua 6 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

He is a writer & artist living in San Francisco. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Koolaids: The Art of War & The Perv. (Bowker Author Biography)
Image credit: Elena Siebert

Tekijän teokset

An Unnecessary Woman (2013) 1,262 kappaletta
The Hakawati (2008) 883 kappaletta
The Angel of History: A Novel (2016) 190 kappaletta
The Wrong End of the Telescope (2021) 167 kappaletta
Koolaids: The Art of War (1998) 135 kappaletta
The Perv: Stories (1999) 20 kappaletta
Anđeo historije (2017) 3 kappaletta
Boulevard Magenta (2010) 1 kappale
Žena bez koje se može (2014) 1 kappale

Associated Works

Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond (2013) — Avustaja — 150 kappaletta
The Best American Essays 2019 (2019) — Avustaja — 132 kappaletta
The Best American Essays 2020 (2020) — Avustaja — 96 kappaletta
Dinarzad's Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction (2004) — Avustaja, eräät painokset26 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla





The plot of this book feels almost impossible to describe. On its most basic and fundamental level, it’s about a Lebanese man, Osama, who has been living in the United States since he was a teenager and returns to Beirut to visit his dying father, telling not only his story but that of his parents. And grandparents. And great-grandparents. His paternal grandfather was a hakawati, a professional storyteller, and the stories Osama was told by his grandfather as well as his uncles and cousins and friends make up a large portion of the book. It’s a fantastic read for someone with ADHD (like yours truly) because the stories are layered over each other, constantly interrupting each other, each one sometimes receding and sometimes coming to the fore. While I ended up loving this quality of the book, it made it a little hard to get into at first. The ground constantly felt like it was shifting under my feet, but it was kind of like being on a boat: once you fall into the rhythm, it feels very natural. Alameddine does an incredible job keeping all of his plates in the air, creating interesting and vivid characters, keeping the narrative moving forward and keeping the reader engaged. To sum it all up as a story about storytelling feels like its giving the book short shrift but is also very much true. I ended up really enjoying it, and it feels very much like a book that will be a good one to revisit someday, as Alameddine clearly understands the pleasure of a familiar story well-told.… (lisätietoja)
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ghneumann | 36 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 14, 2024 |
Read Around the World Challenge: Lebanon

“We, like most humans, consider history a lesson on a blackboard that can be sponged off.”

The author, Rabih Alameddine was born in Jordan to Lebanese parents, and grew up in Kuwait and Lebanon. An Unnecessary Woman is a beautifully-written, award-winning literary fiction about Aaliya, an elderly woman, a book-loving recluse, living in Beirut. Through her somewhat irreverent and cynical eyes we see Beirut from the 1950s to the 2000s.

For the first half of the book I was enthralled by the glorious writing. The second half of the book lost my attention as there is very little plot, and the constant references to different works of literature became irksome.

This was a stunning book with lots of beautiful lines, but could have been at least one hundred pages shorter. Some of my favourite quotes are:

“No loss is felt more keenly than the loss of what might have been. No nostalgia hurts as much as nostalgia for things that never existed.”

“I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word. Literature is my sandbox. In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time.”

“Memory chooses to preserve what desire cannot hope to sustain.”

“We rarely consider that we're also formed by the decisions we didn't make, by events that could have happened but didn't, or by our lack of choices, for that matter.”

“There is none more conformist than one who flaunts his individuality.”

“you can tell how well a marriage is working by counting the bite marks on each partner’s tongue.”

“Mine is a face that would have trouble launching a canoe.”

“Forced learning and magic are congenital adversaries”

“The receding perspective of my past smothers my present. Remembering is the malignancy that feeds on my now.”
… (lisätietoja)
1 ääni
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mimbza | 84 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 24, 2024 |
This is one of those delightful books that makes you stop and want to write down bits of it in order to remember the words forever. The cover reviewer is correct - this book does break your heart - so beware.
The main character is a so-called "unnecessary woman", living in Lebanon during the civil war. No one seems to want or need her, even her husband. She spends her life translating writers, storing up boxes of gradually bettering translations of the classics and new writers into Arabic.
I loved this complaining, grumbly women. She's 72, but I can identify with her feelings of invisibility and her need for something significant to hang onto. I traveled through this book, gradually coming to dread the end - both because I thought it would end one way (it doesn't) and because I feel I've lost the kind of person I would have loved to have spent afternoons with, discussing literature.
The true pleasure in this book are the selected words of other writers and her wise, cheeky, worldly interpretation of them.
Highly highly recommended. I found myself smiling throughout and weeping near the end. Truly a read to wallow in.
… (lisätietoja)
1 ääni
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Dabble58 | 84 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 11, 2023 |
Interesting, SO many books to read!
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maryzee | 84 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 1, 2023 |



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