The Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol
By Elias Khoury
Lebanon's definitive national epic - a tale of sibling rivalry, civil war and betrayal by perhaps the finest living Arabic novelist,
Why did he return to Beirut?
Why did Karim leave his wife and children and the life he had built in France to return to a homeland still reeling from civil war?
Was it to answer his brother Nasim's call to raise a hospital out of the ashes? Was it to kick over the traces of past love affairs? Or to establish the truth behind his father's death?
Or was it to confront at last the ghost of the man known only as "Sinalcol", a legendary phantom of the civil war, and a broken mirror of himself?
In Beirut, Karim will learn the fate of old comrades, and face a brother who shares a past as divided as the city itself.
And he will find that peace is only ever fleeting in a war without end.
Elias Khoury is the author of thirteen novels, four volumes of literary criticism and three plays. He was editor-in-chief of the cultural supplement of Beirut's daily newspaper, An-Nahar, and is Global Distinguished Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University.
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- Publication date:
05 Feb 2015
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Khoury is a writer of panoramic scope and ambition... the Broken Mirrors is rich with sly ironies, incisive political observations, and a cosmopolitan array of ideas and literary allusions — Azadeh Moaveni, Financial Times
Khoury's capacious and entrancing novel, masterfully translated by the award-winning Humphrey Davies, is an extraordinary achievement — Malcolm Forbes, The National
Take your pick, but either Karim Shammas, who has returned to Beirut from France, or his father, Nasri, are the most memorable philanderers to have graced the pages of a novel bursting through the seams of history since Milan Kundera unveiled Tomas in The Unbearable Lightness of Being . . . What is beautiful and immediate about Khoury's prose in is his depiction of Beirut in The Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol, easily on a par with Pamuk and Istanbul or Marc Pastor and Barcelona — Tom Mooney, Echo