'Listen. Let me take you on a journey beyond imagining. Let me tell you a story . . .'
The al-Kharrats are a lovable, irrepressible family going through a difficult time. Osama has returned to Beirut after a long absence to be with his ailing father and join the vigil around his bedside, and since storytelling runs in the family’s veins – his grandfather was a legendary hakawati – this is no peaceful, reverential scene. It is one of gossip and imagination, of tales remembered and tales invented, of love affairs and civil war, of myths and feisty heroines and warriors and music and not a little magic.
Crossing continents, spanning centuries, full of adventure, mischief and surprise, this glorious novel is a twenty-first-century Arabian Nights. Prepare to be enchanted.
‘A wonder of a book. A work – and a world – that expands our narrow vision, transforming it to one of multiplicity, enchanting it with hope’ New York Times
‘Here it comes, the book of the year, on its own magic carpet of stories. No book this bewitching has ever felt so important’ Andrew Sean Greer
‘A glorious, gorgeous masterpiece of pure storytelling’ Amy Tan
‘Dazzling’ Financial Times