The first retrospective collection of 50 years of writing by our leading Arab-American innovative writer.
This landmark two-volume edition, first published in 2014, is being reprinted in a single volume. This collection follows Adnan’s work from the infernal elegies of the 1960s to the ethereal meditations of her later poems, to form a portrait of an extraordinarily impassioned and prescient life. Ranging between essay, fiction, poetry, memoir, feminist manifesto, and philosophical treatise, while often challenging the conventions of genre, Adnan’s works give voice to the violence and revelation of the last six decades as it has centered, in part, within the geopolitics of the Arab world, and in particular the author’s native Beirut. Among the key works reproduced in their entirety are Sitt Marie Rose (1978); The Arab Apocalypse (1980); Journey to Mount Tamalpais (1986); and Of Cities & Women (1993).
“In perception, redemption,” Adnan declares in this assemblage of mystical, metaphysical ideas and aphorisms, often in conversation with the dead. “We have to say yes to that fate,” she writes of mortality, “and it’s hard, the hardest.”–Matt Flegenheimer, The New York Times
“Rather than pin down or bemoan our lack of perceptual surety, Adnan builds a nebula for readers to drift about. Her pages are a place for us to submerge, to question ourselves and each other even as we want to reach out and affirm that yes, we saw some nice fish down there—the colors really set off the light.”–K.B. Thors, Lambda Literary
“Given the uncanny breadth of her art, Adnan is a modern-day inheritor of 20th-century avant-garde movements like Dada and surrealism in which people moved fluidly between writing and art making in one recklessly inventive swoop.”–Negar Azimi, The Wall Street Journal