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House of Stone

A Memoir of Home, Family, and A Lost Middle East
Shadid, Anthony (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
House of Stone
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"In 2006, Shadid, an Arab-American raised in Oklahoma, was covering Israel's attack on Lebanon when he heard that an Israeli rocket had crashed into the house his great-grandfather built, his family's ancestral home. Not long after, Shadid (who had covered three wars in the Middle East) realized that he had lost his passion for a region that had lost its soul. He had seen too much violence and death; his career had destroyed his marriage. Seeking renewal, he set out to rebuild the house that held his family's past in the town they had helped settle long ago. Although the course of the reconstruction is complicated by craftsmen with too much personality, squabbles with his extended family, and Lebanon's political strife, Shadid is restored along with the house and finds that his understanding of the Middle East, which he had known chiefly in wartime, has been deepened by his immersion in smalltown life. Coming to terms with his family's emigrant experience and their town's history, the "homeless" Shadid finds home and comes to understand the emotions behind the turbulence of the Middle East. In a moving epilogue, Shadid describes returning to this house after a nearly disastrous week as a prisoner of war in Libya along with the first visit of his daughter. Combining the human interest of The Bookseller of Kabul and Three Cups of Tea with the light touch of an expert determined, first, to tell a story, Shadid tells the story of a reconstruction effort that would have sent Frances Mayes to a psychiatric hospital as he brings to life unforgettable characters who lives help explain not just the modern Middle East but the legacy of those who have survived generations of war. He flashes back to his family's loss of home, their suffering during their country's dark days, and their experiences as newcomers in Oklahoma. This is a book about what propels the Middle East's rage, loss of home, and what it must examine and re-find, the sense of shared community. Far surpassing the usual reporter's "tour of duty," books, House of Stone is more humane and compelling and will please students of the region, those whose families have emigrated from other nations, and all readers engaged by engrossing storytelling"-- Provided by publisher.
Authors: Shadid, Anthony
Title: House of stone
a memoir of home, family, and a lost Middle East
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
Characteristics: xviii, 311 p. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Anthony Shadid
Summary: "In 2006, Shadid, an Arab-American raised in Oklahoma, was covering Israel's attack on Lebanon when he heard that an Israeli rocket had crashed into the house his great-grandfather built, his family's ancestral home. Not long after, Shadid (who had covered three wars in the Middle East) realized that he had lost his passion for a region that had lost its soul. He had seen too much violence and death; his career had destroyed his marriage. Seeking renewal, he set out to rebuild the house that held his family's past in the town they had helped settle long ago. Although the course of the reconstruction is complicated by craftsmen with too much personality, squabbles with his extended family, and Lebanon's political strife, Shadid is restored along with the house and finds that his understanding of the Middle East, which he had known chiefly in wartime, has been deepened by his immersion in smalltown life. Coming to terms with his family's emigrant experience and their town's history, the "homeless" Shadid finds home and comes to understand the emotions behind the turbulence of the Middle East. In a moving epilogue, Shadid describes returning to this house after a nearly disastrous week as a prisoner of war in Libya along with the first visit of his daughter. Combining the human interest of The Bookseller of Kabul and Three Cups of Tea with the light touch of an expert determined, first, to tell a story, Shadid tells the story of a reconstruction effort that would have sent Frances Mayes to a psychiatric hospital as he brings to life unforgettable characters who lives help explain not just the modern Middle East but the legacy of those who have survived generations of war. He flashes back to his family's loss of home, their suffering during their country's dark days, and their experiences as newcomers in Oklahoma. This is a book about what propels the Middle East's rage, loss of home, and what it must examine and re-find, the sense of shared community. Far surpassing the usual reporter's "tour of duty," books, House of Stone is more humane and compelling and will please students of the region, those whose families have emigrated from other nations, and all readers engaged by engrossing storytelling"-- Provided by publisher.
ISBN: 9780547134666
0547134665
Branch Call Number: 306.0956 S5247h 2012
Subject Headings: Families Lebanon Home Lebanon History Lebanon Emigration and immigration Social aspects Middle East Social conditions
Topical Term: Families
Home
LCCN: 2011036906
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Far surpassing the usual reporter's "tour of duty," books, House of Stone is more humane and compelling and will please students of the region, those whose families have emigrated from other nations, and all readers engaged by engrossing storytelling.


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"When two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anthony Shadid visited the abandoned house his great-grandfather had built in southern Lebanon, he decided to restore the nearly 100-year-old two-story abode. In this memoir, he explores renovation, war, home, family, and change. In his great-grandfather's day, Christians (like his relatives) and Muslims resided peacefully together - but for years now, the town has been affected by often-violent conflicts, including 18 years of Israeli occupation. Just before the publication of this "complicated, elegiac, beautiful" (Kirkus Reviews) memoir earlier this year, the amazingly talented Shadid died from an apparent asthma attack while reporting in Syria." Armchair Travel December 2012 Newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=578249

Jul 07, 2012
  • bbst rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I'm really enjoying this book, particularly the perspectives of past and present as told through the author's experience of returning to his ancestral home.

Jun 26, 2012
  • patienceandfortitude rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book is very well written and at times touching, funny, and at other times disturbing. But ultimately I really don't connect with Arab cultures and therefore didn't love the book.

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