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Turning the Kaleidoscope: Writing from Lebanon

July 2018

Image: Lamia Ziadé, Detail from "Fairuz in My Grandfather’s Shop."

This month we’re off to Beirut and beyond in the company of six Lebanese writers. Their fiction, memoir, and graphics reflect the sweeping array of cultures, politics, wars, exiles, religions, and languages that swirl within this kaleidoscopic literature. Hoda Barakat conducts a postal roundelay, while Jabbour Douaihy eases a Christian man with a Muslim name through an armed checkpoint. Charles Chahwan—“Lebanon’s answer to Charles Bukowski,” debuting in English—finds himself on a familiar street turned deadly, and Sabyl Ghoussoub’s expat filmmaker gets an unexpected review. And in illustrated pieces, Lena Merhej charts the emotional extremes of a disintegrating affair, and Lamia Ziadé finds herself with a front-row seat for Lebanon’s most famous singer. We thank our guest editors, Olivia Snaije and Mitchell Albert.