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Farewell to Emily Nasrallah, one of Lebanon's Literary Treasures

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The quiet, firm Lebanese feminist author and activist Emily Nasrallah (1931-2018) — celebrated for her debut novel Birds of September — has died.

Born in the summer of 1931, Emily Nasrallah grew up in Al Kfeir, a village in southern Lebanon, before moving to Beirut to study and work as a journalist and teacher. Her debut novel, Birds of September, came out in 1962 and was later listed as one of the Arab Writers Union’s 105 best books of the twentieth century. It has been translated into German as Septembervogel by Veronika Theis, but not into English.

To continue reading click here. To browse Emily Nasrallah's books see below. 

Photo thanks to Goethe Institut

Banner photo by Martin on Unsplash

Flight Against Time

This novel of the emigrant experience is a moving witness to the Lebanese people and to a time, the civil war. Emily Nasrallah's narrative follows an elderly Lebanese couple who leave their village during the war to visit children and grandchildren in the New World. The war escalates dangerously during their visit, and the couple's children are reluctant to let their parents return home. Although much of the story takes place on Prince Edward Island and in New York, the behavior and rituals of the family are those of the village in southern Lebanon. Such traditions may not be necessary to life in the New World, but are nonetheless terribly painful for emigrants to discard.


Marcia Lynx Qualey is a court poet, ghost writer, and itinerant scribe with a focus on Arab and Arabic literatures. Writes for The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, Deutchse Welle, The National, and ... Show More