b2s pick: An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine


An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
Agent: Aragi, Inc.

Blurb:  Aaliya Sohbi lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, divorced, and childless, Aaliya is her family’s “unnecessary appendage.” Every year, she translates a new favorite book into Arabic, then stows it away. The thirty-seven books that Aaliya has translated have never been read—by anyone. In this breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, readers follow Aaliya’s digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut.

Notes: A books of struggle – of womanhood –  her struggle with an uncaring family in her youth, a struggle that has lasted her entire life; by the strength of her will and intellect in the face of a society who has little room for her; by her struggle with an aging body in a war-ravaged city; by her struggle to find purpose in her life of books, a life she has kept hidden from the world.

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