Also By This Author
The incendiary new novel by National Book Award finalist Rabih Alameddine, about an Arab American poet, whose adult life in San Francisco spans the AIDS decades, and his hilarious and heartbreaking struggle to remember and forget the events of an astonishing life
The Angel of History
Atlantic Monthly Press
978-0-8021-2576-7 • $26.00 • Cloth • Oct. 2016
“Rabih Alameddine is one of our most daring writersdaring not in the cheap sense of lurid or racy, but as a surgeon, a philosopher, an explorer, or a dancer.”Michael Chabon
Following the critical and commercial success of An Unnecessary Woman, Alameddine delivers a spectacular portrait of a man and an era of political and social upheaval.
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 fourteen saints. With Jacob recalling his life in Cairo, Beirut, Sana’a, Stockholm, and San Francisco, Alameddine gives us a charged philosophical portrayal of a brilliant mind in crisis. This is a profound and winning story of the war between memory and oblivion with which we wrestle every day of our life.