House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East

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Click for availability and more information House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and a Lost Middle East, by Anthony Shadid
Family has always been a powerful and multidimensional concept that authors have continually used to build their stories. Such is the case with Anthony Shadid's new book, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family and A Lost Middle East. Shadid, a reporter for the New York Times when he died at the young age of 43 covering the Syrian crisis in February, 2012, was of Lebanese descent. His book recounts his experiences when he went to Marjayoun, Lebanon to rebuild his great-grandfather's home that had been ruined from years of neglect and shelling during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon. While Shadid admits some thought he was crazy to attempt such a project, he did move there and did the restoration as well as he could.

His story has two tracts. One is his interaction with local craftsmen and construction laborers as he struggles to restore his family's house to its former condition. The stories of the residents of Marjayoun he befriends and deals with are often touching as so many have lost so much during years of fighting and strife in Lebanon. In the other tract, Shadid traces his family's migration from Lebanon beginning in the early Twentieth Century to Oklahoma. They encountered numerous setbacks as they struggled to make a new life for themselves.

House of Stone is particularly recommended for those readers who are interested in learning about how the issues of the decades-long wars and fighting in Lebanon have effected numerous families, both in their daily lives and their long-term living in a war-torn country. Shadid did win two Pulitzers for his reporting of the Middle East conflicts and his writing is so clear. He makes the Lebanese countryside and assorted characters he met while redoing the house come alive. Equally, the story of his family's migration to America makes for very engaging reading. Once again, a reader can marvel at the huge challenges immigrants faced and overcame after arrival in America. After reading House of Stone, this reviewer wants to explore other books by Anthony Shadid.

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This page contains a single entry published on September 7, 2012 5:07 PM.

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