Sunday, 11 March 2012

TALLAWAH BOOK CLUB: Spotlight on Anthony Shadid’s House of Stone

PAGE BY PAGE: Shadid chronicles his family's legacy in new memoir.

Anthony Shadid died last month following an acute asthma attack while attempting to flee war-torn Syria on horseback, but the two-time Pulitzer-winning journalist (for coverage of the Iraq War) and author (Night Draws Near) is survived by a rich legacy that will doubtless fascinate and inspire generations to come. Prior to his death, Shadid completed on a memoir, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East, which is now available via Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Shadid, whose work for both the Washington Post and the New York Times has taken him to the heart of the Middle-East battle-zones, writes evocatively and beautifully about the process of rebuilding a family home in southern Lebanon. Full of his trademark minimalism and lyrical brilliance, the book is at once an unforgettable account of family history and reconstructing a life in the wake of physical and emotional mayhem.

Lauding Shadid’s work, writer Kai Bird proclaims “House of Stone should be read by anyone who wishes to understand the agonies and hopes of the Middle East.” Dave Eggers also made a glowing recommendation. “This is a book about war and terrible loss and a troubled region and his own troubled family history – written with the kind of levity and candour and lyricism we associate with say, Junot Diaz, and that makes the book, improbably, both a compulsive read and one you don’t want to end.”

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