Translated from the Arabic by Nicole Fares
"Mandour’s third novel, the first to be translated into English, presents an enjoyable slice of life in the Lebanese capital....On the whole it flows well and is often wryly funny."—Hurriyet Daily News
"A fast– and quite well-paced slice-of-lives novel, shifting between fast, chatty dialogue and more introspective reflection, and covering a good amount of ground."—the Complete Review
"32 is a fascinating page-turner; universal in its coming of age
anxieties and everyday activities of a young woman and her
friends, and yet specific to post-war Beirut in context, ambiance
and sensitivity."—Nadje Al-Ali, author of What Kind of Liberation?
Women and the Occupation of Iraq
"Sahar Mandour is the voice of Beirut. She captures its wistful
contradictions. 32 is a Beiruti novel. Such joy, such sorrow, but
more than anything, such wonderful characters."—Vijay Prashad, George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History at Trinity College and author of The Karma of Brown Folk
Sahar Mandour is a Lebanese Egyptian author who has written four novels. She is a television host and the editor of Shaba, the youth pages of Al Safer, Lebanon’s left-wing newspaper.
Nicole Fares is a translator and is currently completing her PhD in comparative literature and
theory. Her translations have appeared in Jadaliyya, the Alchemist Journal of Translation, and
World Literature Today.
Book Description »[Close »]
In this finely observed novel, five young Lebanese women navigate their professional
and social lives in a city interrupted by random explosions. It is not a
war zone, but there is no peace either; Beirut stands at the edge of both. These
women, much like their country, have been shaped by the events of a long civil
war, their childhood spent in shelters, their adolescence in an unrecognizable
city under rapid reconstruction. And here they are now, negotiating the details
of their adult lives, fighting to protect their identities, voices, and relationships
in a society constantly under questioning.
Talk of politics and gossip by the young and old animate the coffee shops.
Heated debates and power dynamics unfold in bars and on the streets. Mandour’s
funny and defiant style invites an intimacy, giving readers a glimpse into
the absurdities and injustices of everyday life in Lebanon. With empathy and
a deep honesty, Mandour narrates the lives of these women who struggle to
create their own destiny while at the same time coming to terms with the identity
of their Mediterranean city.
View other series books on Middle East Literature in Translation.
5 x 8, 160 pages, glossary