Synopses & Reviews
"A stirring book."-Financial Times
"[A] vivid portrait of life in wartime Lebanon, and the temporary refuge provided by friends . . . poignant and evocative."-The Economist
"El-Youssef is unflinchingly critical of aspects of his society. . . . Puncturing myth to allow for grief and understanding, the novel attempts to reveal a more complex human reality behind the smokescreen of tales of heroism and martyrdom."-Guardian
"A nuanced, thought-provoking look at this world, free of easy, political answers."-New Statesman
A young Palestinian living in exile in London confronts his past and the one explosive night that tore him from his friends and family. With humor and insight, he untangles the intimate forces that cause personal tragedy and historic tragedy to intersect.
Deepening our understanding of the headlines, The Illusion of Returnis an intelligent, funny, sympathetic, and intimate glimpse into the forces-political, religious, and otherwise-that thrust unwanted into people's lives.
Samir El-Youssefis Palestinian, born in Rashidia (a Lebanese refugee camp), and is a widely respected Middle East peace activist. His first book, Gaza Blues, was co-authored with the Israeli author Etgar Keret. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, New Statesman, and The Washington Post. In 2005, he won the Swedish PEN Tucholsky Award for promoting peace and freedom of speech in the Middle East. He lives in London. This is his first novel in English.
About the Author
Samir El-Youssef was born in Lebanon and eventually moved to London, where he currently resides. He has worked as a critic and essayist for magazines and newspapers in both English and Arabic, including the Guardian, The New Statesman, Al-Hayat, and The Washington Post. He is also the author of a novel and two short story collections in Arabic. El-Youssef received the Swedish PEN Tuchotsky Award in 2005 for promoting peace and freedom of speech in the middle east. The Illusion of Return is his first novel in English.