Beirut Noir

Beirut Noir Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies launched in with Brooklyn Noir Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book

  • Title: Beirut Noir
  • Author: Iman Humaydan Michelle Hartman Alawiyeh Sobh Mazen Zahreddine Abbas Beydoun Bachir Hilal Zena el Khalil Mazen Maarouf
  • ISBN: 9781617753442
  • Page: 494
  • Format: Paperback
  • Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.Featuring brand new stories by Rawi Hage, Muhammad Abi Samra, Leila Eid, Hala Kawtharani, Marie Tawk, Bana Baydoun, Hyam Yared, Najwa Barakat, Alawiyeh Sobh, Mazen ZahreddiAkashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.Featuring brand new stories by Rawi Hage, Muhammad Abi Samra, Leila Eid, Hala Kawtharani, Marie Tawk, Bana Baydoun, Hyam Yared, Najwa Barakat, Alawiyeh Sobh, Mazen Zahreddine, Abbas Beydoun, Bachir Hilal, Zena El Khalil, Mazen Maarouf, and Tarek Abi Samra.Most of the writers in this volume are still living in Beirut, so this is an important contribution to Middle East literature not the outsider s perspective that often characterizes contemporary literature set in the region.From the introduction by Iman Humaydan translated by Michelle Hartman Beirut is a city of contradiction and paradox It is an urban and rural city, one of violence and forgiveness, memory and forgetfulness Beirut is a city of war and peace This short story collection is a part of a vibrant, living recovery of Beirut Beirut Noir recovers the city once again through writing, through the literary visions of its authors From within this collection of stories, a general attitude toward Beirut emerges the city is viewed from a position of critique, doubt, disappointment, and despair The stories here show the vast maze of the city that can t be found in tourist brochures or nostalgic depictions of Beirut that are completely out of touch with reality Perhaps this goes without saying in a collection of stories titled Beirut Noir But the noir label here should be viewed from multiple angles, and it takes on many different forms in the stories No doubt this is because it is imbricated in the distinct moments that Beirut has lived through and how they are depicted in the stories.

    One thought on “Beirut Noir”

    1. NOTE: This review contains the names of all authors featured in this short story collection. In my experience browsing similar books online, this valuable information is not prominently displayed.As a reader with a strong interest in exploring Lebanese and other Arabic literature in [English] translation, I had been looking forward to the release of Beirut Noir for many months. After reading a copy I received through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program, I can say my high expectations were sati [...]

    2. Beirut Noir is the most disappointing edition in the Akashic noir series I have read so far. I found the stories to be extremely inaccessible and this is after I did some research into the wars that have torn the city apart. Iman Humaydan's introduction is excellent, but only went so far in acting as an aid in understanding the stories included therein.

    3. This is probably the lowest rating that I have given any of the Akashic Noir series books. It is a kind of testament to the idea that I was not really getting into this collection in that it took me nearly a month to finish it. The editor mentions that many, if not all of the stories, are driven by the civil strife and conflict that has been going on since 1975, but I just could not seem to relate to any of the stories or their characters. On to the next book!

    4. This is an anthology of stories written by different Lebanese authors. As no surprise, these war stories were, at times, painful to read. However, some stories were poetic. There is the mention of numbers, the soul, dolls and numbers. Beirut is also seen as a "companion of death" and as the "city that dances on its wounds." Although those descriptions made me fall back and regroup, I did not want to add the city of Beirut to my bucket list as a place to see.I only became excited about the city a [...]

    5. I loved this book. In fact, so far, this has been my favorite in the Noir series. I did wonder at times what may have been lost in translation between Arabic and English but that did not deter me from continuing to read nor did it detract from my enjoyment of this book.I think the editor made excellent choices in the material. It represented sections of the city of Beirut and while war was an important theme, and how could it not be given the sheer number of years that conflict has permeated the [...]

    6. I had a difficult time relating to these stories. Perhaps I am not as well read as I thought I was or perhaps it is because I have never travelled outside my home country yet alone a country surrounded with such chaos and upheaval. Whatever the case because so many of the stories were written about the already departed and not the here and now I found them hard to connect with. I did however enjoy the writing. I feel as though little could have been lost in the beauty and fluidity of the prose. [...]

    7. "In Beirut Noir, Iman Humaydan has selected a beautiful and often heartbreaking jigsaw portrait of its eponymous city. This is very much a political book and an emotional one, invested in criticism of the city’s history of division and often succumbing to melancholy. But there is immense love here, in words written beneath the shadow of a brutal civil war." - Michael KazepisThis book was reviewed in the January 2016 issue of World Literature Today magazine. Read the full review by visiting our [...]

    8. I wanted to like this book more than I ended up liking it. I haven't been able to finish reading it and don't think I will ever finish. The writing and translation is very competent, but all the stories up through the halfway point feel too Literary-with-a-capital-L for me. They are all very serious and meaningful and heavy, leaving it a slog to get through. For someone whose tastes run more to that flavor of reading, this would be a great read, but it is not for me.

    9. In compliance with FTC guidelines, I have won this book through the Giveaways.My Rating System:* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.

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