New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.
513 p. ; 25 cm.
In 2003, Osama al-Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father's deathbed. The city is a shell of the Beirut Osama remembers, but he and his friends and family take solace in the things that have always sustained them: gossip, laughter, and, above all, stories. Osama's grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching stories--of his arrival in Lebanon, an orphan of the Turkish wars, and of how he earned the name al-Kharrat, the fibster--are interwoven with classic tales of the Middle East, stunningly reimagined.