Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Friday, January 5, 2018
Bitter Lemon Press
Published August 2016
While on a business trip to Kobe, Tsuneo Asai receives the news that his wife Eiko has died of a heart attack. Eiko had a heart condition so the news of her death wasn't totally unexpected. But the circumstances of her demise left Tsuneo, a softly-spoken government bureaucrat, perplexed. How did it come about that his wife--who was shy and withdrawn, and only left their house twice a week to go to haiku meetings--ended up dead in a small shop in a shady Tokyo neighborhood? When Tsuneo goes to apologize to the boutique owner for the trouble caused by his wife's death he discovers the villa Tachibana near by, a house known to be a meeting place for secret lovers. As he digs deeper into his wife's recent past, he must eventually conclude that she led a double life..
Highly recommended 😊
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Publishing date March 6, 2018
A collection of 30 traditional Syrian and Lebanese folktales infused with new life by Lebanese women, collected by Najla Khoury.
While civil war raged in Lebanon, Najla Khoury traveled with a theater troupe, putting on shows in marginal areas where electricity was a luxury, in air raid shelters, Palestinian refugee camps, and isolated villages. Their plays were largely based on oral tales, and she combed the country in search of stories. Many years later, she chose one hundred stories from among the most popular and published them in Arabic in 2014, exactly as she received them, from the mouths of the storytellers who told them as they had heard them when they were children from their parents and grandparents. Out of the hundred stories published in Arabic, Inea Bushnaq and Najla Khoury chose thirty for this book.
"After twenty years the final curtain was lowered on . The pursuit of stories, however, continued for memory and for pleasure. These are stories that belong to the human heritage. They are expressions of a distinctive cultural milieu. The notions of good and evil, for example, are not as categorical in them as in Western folktales. Fairies and witches have no equivalent in Arabic; instead there are magicians, male and female, good and bad. An old woman or an ancient man often are ogres, addressed as "Uncle Ogre" or "Mother Ogre." A hero can tame them through his courtesy and deeds.
These stories have an identity all their own. I had no right to keep them hidden in my drawers; I felt it a duty to share them. I hope that they will give the reader as much pleasure as I had listening to them."