Angel of History

How does the mind grapple with transition, change, loneliness, and deterioration? Alameddine’s (An Unnecessary Woman; I, the Divine) body of work is an extended meditation on this central question. Though set in a psychiatric clinic waiting room, the 9780802125767.jpgnovel delves into the structural and temporal landscape of Jacob’s mind. The Yemen-born protagonist scavenges through the disparate memories of his transient life, from Beirut to San Francisco. His life is a constant struggle for acceptance and stability from a distant mother, an absent father, and a string of emotionally unavailable partners. Grieving the recent death of his boyfriend, Jacob is adrift in a blur of sadness, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Accompanying him on this retrospection are Satan, Death, and various saints, all vying to control the narrative of Jacob’s past, present, and future. This colorful cast of characters simultaneously challenges and encourages his mutinous path toward a final solution. VERDICT With humor and wit, Alameddine reconfigures the self in exile and all its implications