In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country

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Pub Date: 09/01/2005

Pages: 160

Trim: 5 x 8

Publisher: City Lights Publishers

Imprint: City Lights Publishers

ISBN 13: 9780872864467

ISBN 10: 0872864464

Price: $15.95 / $20.99 CAN

Category: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs

In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country

By Etel Adnan

Price: $15.95



About the Book

A mosaic of lyrical vignettes, at once deeply personal and political, set against the turbulent backdrop of Arab/Western relations. Adnan writes, "Contrary to what is usually believed, it is not general ideas and grandiose unfolding of great events that impress the mind during times of heightened historic upheavals, but rather the uninterrupted flow of little experiences, observations, disturbances, small ecstasies, or barely perceptible discouragements that make up day-to-day living."

As the new world order continues to produce and rewrite our history, mainstream literary culture invades our consciousness to finally sever us from reality. Steadfast in her adherence to the world, Etel Adnan’s work is a mix of prose, poetry, political insight, philosophic speculation and historical remembrance honed here to mineral perfection. Working close to the very heart of American poetic power but from the centers of official recognition, Adnan has been delivering the news for decades, her eyes always focused on 'the narrow and long road which leads to the slaughter-house.'” - Ammiel Alcalay

"For years, Etal Adnan has been writing a quiet lyric prose that is also insistently political. In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country returns to the explorations of the history of war and the female body that made Sitt Marie Rose– her novel of the Lebanese civil war– a classic. Here she uses short vignettes to examine the world wide resonances of yet another war in the Middle East, to speak poignantly of how its terrors mix with mundane moments of beauty. This is a moving and complicated work. - Juliana Spahr, author of This Connection of Everyone with Lungs

Etel Adnan, a Lebanese American poet, painter, and essayist, lives in Paris, Beirut, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Among her books, the novel Sitt Marie Rose is considered a classic of Middle Eastern literature. She has been a powerful voice for compassion and empowerment in feminist and antiwar movements.

About the Book

A haunting exploration of identity, history, displacement, and war from an Arab American perspective


Etel Adnan was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1925. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, U.C. Berkeley, and at Harvard, and taught at Dominican College in San Rafael, California, from 1958–1972. In solidarity with the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962), Adnan began to resist the political implications of writing in French and became a painter. Then, through her participation in the movement against the Vietnam War (1959–1975), she began to write poetry and became, in her words, “an American poet.” In 1972, she returned to Beirut and worked as cultural editor for two daily newspapers—first for Al Safa, then for L’Orient le Jour. Her novel Sitt Marie-Rose, published in Paris in 1977, won the France-Pays Arabes award and has been translated into more than ten languages. In 1977, Adnan re-established herself in California, making Sausalito her home, with frequent stays in Paris. Adnan is the author of more than a dozen books in English, including Journey to Mount Tamalpais (1986) The Arab Apocalypse (1989), In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country (2005), and Sea and Fog (2012), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry and the California Book Award for Poetry. In 2014, she was awarded one of France’s highest cultural honors: l’Ordre de Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. Many of her poems have been put to music by Tania Leon, Henry Treadgill, Gavin Bryars, Zad Moultaka, Annea Lockwood, and Bun Ching Lam. Her paintings have been widely exhibited, including Documenta 13, the 2014 Whitney Biennial, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, The New Museum, and Museum der Moderne Salzburg. In 2014, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art mounted a retrospective of her work.