Rabih Alameddine follows his bestseller, The Hakawati, with a heartrending novel that celebrates the singular life of an obsessive introvert, revealing Beirut’s beauties and horrors along the way.

An Unnecessary Woman will be available in English in January 2014

In 2003, Osama al-Kharrat returns to Beirut after many years in America to stand vigil at his father's deathbed. As the family gathers, stories begin to unfold: Osama's grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching tales are interwoven with classic stories of the Middle East. With The Hakawati, Rabih Alameddine has given us an Arabian Nights for this century.

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Named by her grandfather after the "divine" Sarah Bernhardt, red-haired Sarah Nour El-Din is feisty, rebellious, individualistic - a person determined to make of her life a work of art. In I, the Divine, she tries to tell her story, sometimes casting it as a memoir, sometimes a novel, full of sly humor and dark realism, always beguilingly incomplete.

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