A Game for Swallows makes The New York Times!

November 14th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

From Pamela Paul’s review of Zeina Abirached’s A Game for Swallows:

Less a story than a portrait of a family and a city and a culture under siege, the narrative unfolds somewhat disjointedly, intentionally perhaps — as a means of conveying the haphazard and precarious nature of life in a city beset by civil war…

…the afternoon of waiting for the parents’ return remains grimly tense (a scene in which the family and neighbors call out “Incoming!” and “Outgoing!” in response to the explosions outside is terrifyingly real, with the characters faces falling slack during moments of silence and panicked when the bombs explode). The profound dislocation of living in a war zone is palpable on every page. And an ominous question hangs over it all: Will Abirached’s parents return? And if they do, what exactly will they be returning to?

The book’s strengths are myriad. Abirached is a lovely artist, and her characters’ faces are remarkably expressive. There is much humor, a welcome relief from the chaos and heartache of the human stories within.

For young readers, “A Game for Swallows” will come as a revelation. At a time when the Middle East is still in turmoil and when Americans have suffered losses of electricity and other necessities during recent storms and floods, this is a story that will hit home even as it causes young, impressionable eyes to look at life abroad.

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