Autumn Equinox

Publishing House: University of Arkansas Press

Publication Year: 2001

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 136

Jabbour Douaihy‘s “Autumn Equinox” unfolds as an intimate portrayal of a young man’s odyssey, weaving through the intricate tapestry of his Lebanese roots. Returning to his native village after a sojourn in the United States, the protagonist embarks on a transformative journey that spans the languid days from late May to the equinox of September 1986.

The diary meticulously captures the protagonist’s yearning for self-discovery, a quest manifesting in a kaleidoscope of changes across various facets of his life. From a recalibration of reading preferences to a nuanced shift in writing styles, from altering dietary choices to a deliberate change in attire and body language, the narrative delineates the intricate dance of self-reinvention. Interwoven into this personal metamorphosis are the evolving dynamics of familial ties and romantic entanglements.

Set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War, “Autumn Equinox” intricately balances the omnipresent turmoil with the protagonist’s microcosmic struggles. The Israeli airstrike in South Lebanon marks the inception, while the exodus of refugee families to mountain hamlets forms the poignant denouement. Nevertheless, the war remains a looming specter, casting shadows that subtly influence the village’s collective psyche.

In Douaihy’s narrative, the United States becomes a distant realm personified by the enigmatic Lara, offering a poignant counterpoint to the immediate focus on the village. The vibrancy of seemingly immutable characters within the village challenges the protagonist’s aspirations for change. Even as the Civil War and Occupation linger in the background, the narrative suggests that the villagers harbor an intrinsic undercurrent of violence and vendetta within their collective psyche, pre-dating the external upheavals.

“Autumn Equinox” emerges not merely as a chronicle of external conflict but as a profound exploration of internal discord. Douaihy invites readers to ponder whether personal transformation can coexist with the imperative to adapt to deep-seated cultural and social mores, positing that unrest is not solely a product of external catalysts but an inherent aspect of the human condition.

Read More About Jabbour Douaihy

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!