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The Wrong End of the Telescope (Hardcover)

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(HARDBACK FICTION)

Staff Reviews


Selected as a 2021 Best Fiction of the Year title by Bookshop staff:
This book is part of our 2021–2022 Winter Reading Program:

Three stories are woven together in this masterful, wise, and empathetic novel. Mina, an Arab American trans woman doing medical work with refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. A Syrian migrant family led by their dying matriarch Sumaiya. And the writer of the story, struggling to convey the depth of so many unanswerable questions. Alameddine writes with care and precision about existence in the midst of impossibility. This is a special, moving book. Don’t miss our event with Rabih Alameddine on December 1st.

— Trey

Description


WINNER OF THE 2022 PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FOR FICTION

By National Book Award and the National Book Critics' Circle Award finalist for An Unnecessary Woman, Rabih Alameddine, comes a transporting new novel about an Arab American trans woman's journey among Syrian refugees on Lesbos island.


Mina Simpson, a Lebanese doctor, arrives at the infamous Moria refugee camp on Lesbos, Greece, after being urgently summoned for help by her friend who runs an NGO there. Alienated from her family except for her beloved brother, Mina has avoided being so close to her homeland for decades. But with a week off work and apart from her wife of thirty years, Mina hopes to accomplish something meaningful, among the abundance of Western volunteers who pose for selfies with beached dinghies and the camp's children. Soon, a boat crosses bringing Sumaiya, a fiercely resolute Syrian matriarch with terminal liver cancer. Determined to protect her children and husband at all costs, Sumaiya refuses to alert her family to her diagnosis. Bonded together by Sumaiya's secret, a deep connection sparks between the two women, and as Mina prepares a course of treatment with the limited resources on hand, she confronts the circumstances of the migrants' displacement, as well as her own constraints in helping them.


Not since the inimitable Aaliya of An Unnecessary Woman has Rabih Alameddine conjured such a winsome heroine to lead us to one of the most wrenching conflicts of our time. Cunningly weaving in stories of other refugees into Mina's singular own, The Wrong End of the Telescope is a bedazzling tapestry of both tragic and amusing portraits of indomitable spirits facing a humanitarian crisis.

About the Author


RABIH ALAMEDDINE is the author of the novels The Angel of History; An Unnecessary Woman; The Hakawati; I, the Divine; Koolaids; and the story collection, The Perv. In 2019, he won the Dos Passos Prize.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780802157805
ISBN-10: 0802157807
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: September 21st, 2021
Pages: 368
Language: English
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Created At: 1/10/2021 11:02am
Last Updated At: 6/25/2022 03:35am