The Hakawati

The Hakawati

Book - 2008
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In 2003, Osama al-Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father's deathbed. The city is a shell of the Beirut Osama remembers, but he and his friends and family take solace in the things that have always sustained them: gossip, laughter, and, above all, stories. Osama's grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching stories--of his arrival in Lebanon, an orphan of the Turkish wars, and of how he earned the name al-Kharrat, the fibster--are interwoven with classic tales of the Middle East, stunningly reimagined. Here are Abraham and Isaac; Ishmael, father of the Arab tribes; the ancient, fabled Fatima; and Baybars, the slave prince who vanquished the Crusaders. Here, too, are contemporary Lebanese whose stories tell a larger, heartbreaking tale of seemingly endless war--and of survival.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307386274
0307386279
9780307266798
0307266796
Branch Call Number: FICTION Alameddine
Characteristics: 513 p. ; 25 cm

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sraj
Mar 13, 2010

Wonderful book, an 'Arabian Nights' interleaved with a modern day story.
Loved the name. A window into Lebanese Society.

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