Rabih Alameddine on his new novel "An Unnecessary Woman"
Host Kathleen Stephenson interviews Rabih Alameddine, one of the Middle East's most celebrated voices, about his new novel "An Unnecessary Woman."
Rabih Alameddine follows his bestseller, The Hakawati, with "An Unnecessary Woman," a novel that explores the singular life of an obsessive introvert, revealing Beirut’s beauties and horrors along the way.
Aaliya Sohbi lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family’s “unnecessary appendage.” In this 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. Colorful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and Aaliya’s own volatile past.
Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids, and I, the Divine, The Hakawati, the story collection, The Perv, and most recently, An Unnecessary Woman. He divides his time between San Francisco and Beirut.