Raised on Charles Baudelaire, A Clockwork Orange, and fine Bordeaux in 1970s Lebanon, Darina Al-Joundi was encouraged by her unconventional father to defy all taboos. As the bombs fell, she lived an adolescence of excess and transgression, defying death in nightclubs. The more oppressive the country became, the more drugs and anonymous sex she had, fueling the resentment by day of the same men who would spend the night with her. As the war dies down, she begins to incur the consequences of her lifestyle. On his deathbed, her father's last wish is for his favorite song, "Sinnerman" by Nina Simone, to be played at his funeral instead of the traditional suras of the Koran. When she does just that, the results are catastrophic.
In this dramatic true story, Darina Al-Joundi is defiantly passionate about living her life as a liberated woman, even if it means leaving everyone and everything behind.
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- Jonathan Krapf
Good writing, heavy reading
It is a common observation that modern Lebanese literature means autobiographies from the civil war - with a sufficient choice of unusual personalities portrayed therein. Sometimes, this can get boring - which is definitely not the case here.
I would say that this short book takes the cake in the genre. The personalities of father and daughter are so violently unconventional to Lebanese society, and the story is told with such brutal simplicity that, even if only half of the content is true (and if you know Beirut, it's all probable), it's an enchanting story. Darkly enchanting, that is.