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.'
Present-day Morocco: With the breakdown of her marriage, physician Nadine Alam has become unable to work. Her teenage daughter Al has retreated into silence, and now her young housekeeper Ghalia has disappeared. One morning, Nadine receives an envelope from an unidentified sender. Inside it is a newspaper clipping, an article about a single mother and her newborn child, a boy named Noor - typically a name given to girls, meaning light.
Writing at the height of her powers, The Bad Immigrant cements Sefi Atta's place as one of the best storytellers of our time. Through the voice of her first male protagonist, Lukmon, Atta peels away nuanced layers to expose the realities of migration from Nigeria to the USA, such as the strains of adjustment and the stifling pressure to conform without loss of identity.
When author Linda Dittmar stumbles upon the ruins of an abandoned Palestinian village, she is faced with a past that sits uneasily with her Israeli childhood memories - and the history she was raised never to question.
Poison in the Air, Jabbour Douaihy's final novel, chronicles the decades of social, political, and economic turmoil leading up to and including the recent collapse of his beloved Lebanon after the horrific explosion that occurred at the Port of Beirut in 2020.
The novel is set in Baghdad following the 2003 American invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein and unleashed chaos. At the centre of the narrative is a young woman, Ghosnelban, who belongs to what would have been an aristocratic family under the former Iraqi monarchy and sees herself and her family as guardians of an aristocratic code of noble values and traditions.