Elias Khoury’s Yalo

My review of Elias Khoury’s new novel, Yalo, appeared on the cover of Sunday’s edition of the L. A. Times Book Review. The piece also makes mention of two of Khoury’s earlier books, Little Mountain and City Gates, which have just recently been re-issued. Here’s an excerpt:

Few cities have withstood the kind of violence and carnage that Beirut has. Though destroyed by a civil war lasting 15 long years, it seemed to be on the verge of an economic and cultural renaissance in 2006 when it was bombed again during the Israeli invasion. Beirut is a city that has learned to start over, to rebuild itself on top of its ruins, but it is also a place where memories are long and myths are persistent. In his new novel, “Yalo,” Elias Khoury grapples with the idea of truth and memory, what we choose to remember and what we prefer to forget. In fact, “Yalo” is composed of confessions — whether forced or voluntary, true or laced with self-aggrandizement, redemptive for the confessor or entirely useless.

The rest of the review is freely available on the L.A. Times website.