An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alammedine, a Review

72 year old Aaliya Saleh has only one mirror in her apartment, and it is smudged. “I don’t think we need to consult Freud or one of his many minions to know that there’s an issue here,” she says. “I begin this tale with a badly lit reflection.” But it is clear enough for her to see that she has unwittingly dyed her white hair, blue. Aaliya has lived alone in her apartment in Beirut for all of her adult life. She is divorced and childless, the ‘unnecessary appendage’ of her family. Alone in her apartment, Aaliya reads the hundreds of…

Reading a Book is like Falling in Love

I love serendipitous moments. While I was reading a book and falling a love with it, the character in my book described reading a book and falling in love with it. And it was during Ramzan (or Ramadan as it is known in the Arab world.) Why is that last part relevant? Read the beautiful passage below. The book is Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman, a portrait of a 72 year old woman living alone in Beirut. Ah… the deliciousness of discovering a masterwork. the beauty of the first sentences, the “what is this?,” the “how can this be?,” the first crush…