Alameddine’s sixth novel is an expanding universe of a book, narrated by a trans Lebanese doctor named Mina, who has come to the Greek island of Lesbos—itself a sort of symbol—as a volunteer to assist Syrian refugees. In that sense, the novel has roots in autobiography: Alameddine has visited Lesbos to do such work. But don’t mistake this for a roman à clef, for Alameddine has more encompassing ambitions: to address the question of displacement (or “dislocation,” as he prefers to phrase it) on both political and personal terms. In a world where we are all displaced, not least from one another, how do we find a way to come together? How do we find a way to get along?
‘The Wrong End of the Telescope’
Rabih Alameddine’s novel is the California Book Club’s August 2022 selection.
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