America Rabee Jabir book reviews

Al-Markaz al-Thaqafi al-Arabi (Arab Cultural Centre), Morocco and Lebanon, 2009

America  Rabee Jabir book reviews

Lebanese novelist and journalist Rabee Jabir was born in Beirut in 1972. He has been editor of Afaq, the weekly cultural supplement of Al-Hayat newspaper, since 2001. His first novel, Master of Darkness, won the Critics’ Choice Award in 1992. He has since written 16 novels, including: Black Tea; The Last House; Yousif Al-Inglizi; The Journey of the Granadan (published in German in 2005) and Berytus: A City Beneath the Earth (published in French by Gallimard in 2009).

America evokes the story of the Syrians who left their homeland in the early 20th century to try their luck in the young America. Spurred on by a sense of adventure and the desire to escape poverty, they made the epic journey, leaving their homeland with only a few belongings. Their journey takes in everything from their travels across mountains and plains, to their gradual integration into American society, later becoming citizens of America and fighting its wars. In particular, the novel focuses on the character of Marta, who travels alone to New York in search of her husband, with whom she has lost contact. America is a moving tribute to those who left Syria in search of a new life.

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