"Daring, dazzling. . . A tough, funny, heart-breaking book" by the National Book Award-nominated author of An Unnecessary Woman (The Seattle Times).
Detailing the impact of the AIDS epidemic in America and the Lebanese civil war in Beirut on a circle of friends and their families during the 1980s and 1990s, this "absolutely brilliant" novel mines the chaos of contemporary experience, telling the stories of characters who can no longer love or think except in fragments (Amy Tan). Clips and quips, vignettes and hallucinations, tragic news reports and hilarious short plays, conversations with both the quick and the dead, all shine their combined lights to reveal the way we experience life today in the debut novel of the author Michael Chabon calls "one of our most daring writers."
"A provocative, emotionally searing series of connected vignettes . . . For a nonlinear novel the images chosen retain a remarkable cohesion. Often sexually frank or jarringly violent, they merge into a graphic portrait of two cultures torn from the inside." Publishers Weekly
"[A] refreshing statement of honesty and endurance . . . Funny, brave, full of heart and willing to say things about war and disease, sexual and cultural politics that have rarely been said so boldly or directly before." The Oregonian
"Rabih Alameddine is one rare writer who not only breaks our hearts but gives every broken piece a new life." Yiyun Li