Song for the Missing
It is 2011 and the Arab Spring is in full bloom when the discovery of two bodies in Beirut sows the first seeds of unrest in Lebanon. With houses already burning, Amin sets out to write down his memories of the country: Of the year 1994, when he returned as a teenager with his grandmother, twelve years after his parents deaths. Of his friendship with Jafar, the boy who explored the desolate postwar landscape with him. And of the painful discovery that there will never be certainty neither about his friend’s past nor his family’s history. In this novel full of mystery and suspense, friendship and loss, searches and secrets, Jarawan interweaves a deeply personal story with the tumultuous history of the Middle East.
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2011. During the troubled times of the Arabic Spring, Amin recalls the year 1994, when he, as an orphan, came with his Grandma from Germany to Lebanon. He remembers the taboo of speaking about the 17000 missing people in Lebanon and the silent grief of their relatives. Little by little, Amin discovers that his parents belong to the missing persons. With his friend Jafar, Amin roams Beirut and its traumatized population, until he meet a story teller, who sparks Amin’s interest in books.
Rooted in the oral storytelling traditions of the Orient and passionate, Pierre Jarawan narrates stories of the people of Lebanon to make the reader feel what is lost. A touching, political novel and a varied family story.
– Leipziger Städtische Bibliotheken, Germany