Beirut 2020: Diary of the Collapse

Beirut 2020: Diary of the Collapse

Charif Majdalani

$9.99

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Description

Told in elegant, evocative prose, a devastating and necessary testament to the August explosion that thoughtfully examines the crises that preceded it and its aftermath.

At the start of the summer of 2020, in a Lebanon ruined by economic crisis and political corruption, in an exhausted Beirut still rising up for true democracy while the world was paralyzed by the coronavirus, Charif Majdalani set about writing a journal. He intended to bear witness to this terrible, confusing time, and perhaps endure it by putting it into words. Using small, everyday interactions—with fellow restaurant patrons, repairmen, the father of his wife’s patient, a young Syrian refugee—as openings to address larger systemic problems, he explains how events in Lebanon’s recent history led to this point.

Then, on August 4, the explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut devastated the city and the country. Majdalani’s chronicle suddenly became a record of the catastrophe, which left more than two hundred dead and thousands injured, and the massive public outcry that followed. In the midst of the senseless chaos and grief, however, he continues to find cause for hope in the kindness and resilience of those determined to stay and rebuild.


Author

Charif Majdalani:
Charif Majdalani was born in Lebanon in 1960 and is one of the most important figures in Lebanese literature today. After living in France for thirteen years, he returned to Lebanon in 1993 and now teaches French literature at the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut. His novel Moving the Palace won the 2008 François Mauriac Prize from the Académie Française as well as the Prix Tropiques.

Ruth Diver holds a PhD in French and comparative literature from the University of Paris 8 and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She won two 2018 French Voices Awards for her translations of Marx and the Doll by Maryam Madjidi, and Titus Did Not Love Berenice by Nathalie Azoulai. She also won Asymptote’s 2016 Close Approximations fiction prize for her translation of extracts of Maraudes by Sophie Pujas.

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