The Angel of History: Book summary and reviews of The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine

The Angel of History

by Rabih Alameddine

The Angel of History by Rabih Alameddine
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2016
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Following the critical and commercial success of An Unnecessary Woman, Alameddine delivers a spectacular portrait of a man and an era of profound political and social upheaval.

"There are many ways to break someone's heart, but Rabih Alameddine is one rare writer who not only breaks our hearts but gives every broken piece a new life." - Yiyun Li

Following the critical and commercial success of An Unnecessary Woman, Alameddine delivers a spectacular portrait of a man and an era of profound political and social upheaval.

Set over the course of one night in the waiting room of a psych clinic, The Angel of History follows Yemeni-born poet Jacob as he revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past and dour, frigid Death who urges him to forget and give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by 14 saints. Set in Cairo and Beirut; Sana'a, Stockholm, and San Francisco; Alameddine gives us a charged philosophical portrait of a brilliant mind in crisis. This is a profound, philosophical and hilariously winning story of the war between memory and oblivion we wrestle with every day of our lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In this provocative portrait of a man in crisis, masterful storyteller Alameddine takes on some of the most wrenching conflicts of the day." - Booklist

"Starred Review. With humor and wit, Alameddine reconfigures the self in exile and all its implications." - Library Journal

"The novel takes a nonlinear approach that is occasionally messy, but Alameddine brilliantly captures Jacob's mind as it leaps between memory and the present." - Publishers Weekly

"A feverish portrait of a mind in crisis, echoed in some overly fragmented storytelling." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Rabih Alameddine Author Biography

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.

Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Rabih Alameddine: Rah-be-a Ahl-ah-meh-dean

Other books by Rabih Alameddine at BookBrowse
  • The Hakawati jacket
  • An Unnecessary Woman jacket
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