Author: Elias Khoury

Publishing House: Archipelago Books

Publication Year: 2008

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 317

Elias Khoury‘s novel “Yalo” thrusts readers into an enthralling world where reality is distorted. Crafting a narrative that grips the reader until its final pages. The story revolves around Yalo, a young man. Yolo’s childhood unfolds on the chaotic streets of Beirut amidst the prolonged Lebanese civil war. Growing up under the care of his mother, who metaphorically described as having “lost her face in the mirror.” Yalo’s life is a tale of survival and identity crisis in a war-torn city.

Additionally, Yalo’s journey is marked by his association with a gang, whose dangerous and violent activities he initially perceives as mere adventurous escapades. However, this perception shifts dramatically when Yalo finds himself entangled in a serious crime. Accused of rape, he imprisoned and coerced into confessing to offenses he cannot remember committing. This coerced confession sets Yalo on a path of self-discovery. As he pens and revises his story, he delves deeper into his family history and suppressed memories. Gradually uncovering the layers of his own psyche. Through this process, the true essence of Yalo begins to surface. Revealing the complexities of his character shaped by his turbulent past.

Furthermore, Elias Khoury, the author of “Yalo,” is an eminent figure in the world of literature. Having authored twelve novels, several volumes of literary criticism, and three plays. He is not only a celebrated novelist but also an influential cultural editor for Beirut’s An-Nahar newspaper and serves as a global distinguished professor at New York University. His acclaimed work, “Gate of the Sun,” recognized as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2006. Illustrating his significant contribution to contemporary literature.

The translation of “Yalo” and other notable Arabic literary works into English that adeptly handled by Peter Theroux. Who translated prominent works like Abdelrahman Munif’s “Cities of Salt,” Naguib Mahfouz’s “Children of the Alley,” and Alia Mamdouh’s “A Novel of Baghdad.” Theroux, with his extensive experience in the Middle East. He is currently based in Washington, DC, and continues to bridge the linguistic and cultural gap between the Arabic and English-speaking worlds through his translations.

Read More About Elias Khoury

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