Books saved my sanity, knowledge opened the locked places in me and taught me first how to survive and then how to soar.

- Gloria Anzaldùa

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June 4: The Book of Queens by Joumana Haddad

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June 4, Saturday
12pm New York  |  5pm London | 7pm Beirut

Friendly discussion about the novel, The Books of Queens. The writer Joumana Haddad will join us for the final half hour to chat with participants. Published by Interlink Books. This book club is organized in collaboration with The Markaz Review.

Discussion hosted by Bhakti Shringarpure

Remember to:

a. Get yourself a copy of the book! (Click here to purchase the book online) 

b. Read the book before the meeting! (No one is checking if you've finished the book, but you will get the most out of the club and the chat with the author if you read ahead.)

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About the book
The Book of Queens is a family saga that spans four generations of women caught up in the tragic whirlwind of turf wars and suffering in the Middle East—from the Armenian genocide and the Israeli occupation of Palestine to modern-day civil wars and the struggles between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon and Syria.

Four queens of a deck of cards dealt a bad hand by fate—Qayah, Qana, Qadar and Qamar—form the branches of the same family tree rooted in the land of their origins despite the forceful winds that repeatedly try to carry them away. A line of red-haired women united by the ties of blood that runs through their veins—which violence has spread through the ages—each with a deep story and all with one thing in common: unwavering power and resilience in the face of adversities of being a woman in a war-torn region.

With the perfect mastery of finely chiseled writing, Joumana Haddad manages to construct a novel of extraordinary intensity, without ever sinking into pathos or grandiloquence. She also challenges the systematic abuse of political and religious power and authority that continues to cloud the lives of a culturally diverse and progressive youth until the present day.

About the author
Joumana Haddad is an award-winning Lebanese author, journalist, and human rights activist. She was the cultural editor of An-Nahar newspaper for many years and now hosts a TV show focusing on human rights issues in the Arab world. She has received the Blue Metropolis Arab Literary Prize and the Arab Press Prize, among other honors, and was named one of the world’s 100 most powerful Arab women for four years in a row by Arabian Business magazine. Her works, which have been widely translated and published around the world, include I Killed Scheherazade, Superman is an Arab, and The Third Sex. The Book of Queens, her latest novel, has been translated into French, Italian, and Arabic.

About the host
Bhakti Shringarpure is a writer, editor and educator. She is the Creative Director of the Radical Books Collective. 

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