Rabih Alameddine - The Angel of History - Little, Brown Book Group

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  • Paperback £8.99
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    • ISBN:9781472152381
    • Publication date:31 Aug 2017
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    • ISBN:9781472152367
    • Publication date:06 Oct 2016

The Angel of History

By Rabih Alameddine

  • Hardback
  • £18.99

Following the critical and commercial success of An Unnecessary Woman, Alameddine delivers a spectacular portrait of a man and an era of profound political and social upheaval.

'A profoundly beautiful novel that infolds the political with the personal in unexpected and new ways . . . An extraordinary book' Neel Mukherjee, New Statesman, 'Books of the Year 2016'

'His stories take the reader into the labyrinth that is the mind . . . The Angel of History is digressive and daring' the Economist

'Alameddine has created a scintillating, original work whose moral complexity and detail of observation are wholly contemporary and entirely his own' Spectator

Set over the course of one night in the waiting room of a psych clinic, The Angel of History follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past and dour, frigid Death who urges him to forget and give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by 14 saints. Set in Cairo and Beirut; Sana'a, Stockholm, and San Francisco; Alameddine gives us a charged philosophical portrait of a brilliant mind in crisis. This is a profound, philosophical and hilariously winning story of the war between memory and oblivion we wrestle with every day of our lives.

'Here is a book, full of story, unrepentantly political at every level. At a time when many western writers seem to be in retreat from saying anything that could be construed as political, Alameddine says it all, shamelessly, gloriously and, realised like his Satan, in the most stylish of forms' the Guardian

Biographical Notes

Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids, and I, the Divine, The Hakawati, the story collection, The Perv, and most recently, An Unnecessary Woman. He divides his time between San Francisco and Beirut.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472152374
  • Publication date: 06 Oct 2016
  • Page count: 304
  • Imprint: Corsair
Shades of The Master and Margarita haunt Rabih Alameddine's sixth book . . . Yet, while echoes of Bulgakov's masterpiece inform The Angel of History from first to last, Alameddine has created a scintillating, original work whose moral complexity and detail of observation are wholly contemporary and entirely his own. — John Burnside, Spectator
Here is a book, full of story, unrepentantly political at every level. At a time when many western writers seem to be in retreat from saying anything that could be construed as political, Alameddine says it all, shamelessly, gloriously and, realised like his Satan, in the most stylish of forms. — Aminatta Forna, The Guardian
A profoundly beautiful novel that infolds the political with the personal in unexpected and new ways . . . An extraordinary book. — Neel Mukherjee, New Statesman, 'Books of the Year 2016'
By the novel's end Mr Alameddine has beguiled us with his insight and compassion. His stories take the reader into the labyrinth that is the mind . . . The Angel of History is digressive and daring. — The Economist
Innovative and exciting . . . Alameddine has written a modern, multicultural riff on Faustus for Generation X, fluidly incorporating queer history, philosopy and modern mythology with poise and humour . . . An audacious, beautiful and charismatic reading experience — Attitude mag, Book of the Month
Rabih Alameddine conjures an elegiac comedy with aplomb, his incantations rich with sincerity and irreverence . . . Alameddine is an entrancing storyteller, imbuing the quotidian with magnificence and undermining solemnity with sauciness . . . The Angel of History is outstanding, a novel that leaves a lasting mark. — Shelf Awareness
There are many ways to break someone's heart, but Rabih Alameddine is one rare writer who not only breaks our hearts but gives every broken piece a new life — Yiyun Li
Rabih Alameddine is one of our most daring writers - daring not in the cheap sense of lurid or racy, but as a surgeon, a philosopher, an explorer, or a dancer — Michael Chabon
Darkly funny — Library Journal
In this provocative portrait of a man in crisis, masterful storyteller Alameddine takes on some of the most wrenching conflicts of the day. — Booklist
Alameddine is excellent at weaving literary references into his storytelling . . . A feverish portrait of a mind in crisis. — Kirkus Reviews
Alameddine brilliantly captures [the protagonist] Jacob's mind as it leaps between memory and the present. — Publisher's Weekly
A cleverly constructed novel that questions what we remember and why we forget. — San Francisco Magazine
[An] excellent, lissome novel . . . To dwell within Jacob's mind and to read Alameddine's prose is to see loss . . . made into lively and living art. — San Francisco Chronicle
Laced with literary references . . . a kaleidoscopic storytelling style, and philosophical humor — New Yorker
Alameddine's writing is beautiful, often deeply moving (especially if you're of an age to have lost a friend in that tragedy), but it is also deliciously witty — The Times