The Real-Life Work of Rabih Alameddine: Background information when reading The Wrong End of the Telescope

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The Wrong End of the Telescope

by Rabih Alameddine

The Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine X
The Wrong End of the Telescope by Rabih Alameddine
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2021, 368 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 2022, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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About this Book

The Real-Life Work of Rabih Alameddine

This article relates to The Wrong End of the Telescope

Rabih Alameddine author photoIn The Wrong End of the Telescope, Rabih Alameddine creates a character that appears to be a stand-in for himself, described from the perspective of the novel's narrator, Mina. Mina paints the character as a friend of hers who has written essays about his experiences with refugees as well as fiction. The author's real-life work parallels this description, and several comparisons can be drawn between his writing career and that of the writer in the story.

After having spotted the Alameddine-like character in the novel, Mina's friend Emma tells her, "You sent me one of his books for Christmas, unreadable, worst gift ever. Why would I care about an old woman who doesn't leave her apartment? Didn't make any sense to me. That's not a story, that's just stupid."

While this would be an especially uncharitable reading of Alameddine's book An Unnecessary Woman, Emma's description more or less corresponds to its plot. This previous novel of the author's is the story of Aaliya Sohbi, a 72-...

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