Intolerable by Kamal Al-solayleeIntolerable by Kamal Al-solaylee

Intolerable

byKamal Al-solaylee

Paperback | May 14, 2013

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WINNER of the Toronto Book Award

FINALIST for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir/Biography, and the OLA Forest of Reading Evergreen Award

A Globe and Mail and Amazon.ca Best Book of the Year and a Canadian Booksellers' Top Pick for LGBT Books of the Year

In the 1960s, Kamal Al-Solaylee’s father was one of the wealthiest property owners in Aden, in the south of Yemen, but when the country shrugged off its colonial roots, his properties were confiscated, and the family was forced to leave. The family moved first to Beirut, which suddenly became one of the most dangerous places in the world, then Cairo. After a few peaceful years, even the safe haven of Cairo struggled under a new wave of Islamic extremism that culminated with the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981. The family returned to Yemen, a country that was then culturally isolated from the rest of the world.

As a gay man living in an intolerant country, Al-Solaylee escaped first to England and eventually to Canada, where he became a prominent journalist and academic. While he was enjoying the cultural and personal freedoms of life in the West, his once-liberal family slowly fell into the hard-line interpretations of Islam that were sweeping large parts of the Arab-Muslim world in the 1980s and 1990s. The differences between his life and theirs were brought into sharp relief by the 2011 revolution in Egypt and the civil war in Yemen.

Intolerable is part memoir of an Arab family caught in the turmoil of Middle Eastern politics over six decades, part personal coming-out narrative and part cultural analysis. This is a story of the modern Middle East that we think we know so much about.

KAMAL AL-SOLAYLEE, an assistant professor and undergraduate program director at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University, was previously a distinguished writer at Canada’s national newspaperThe Globe and Mail. Al-Solaylee also worked atReport on Businessmagazine and has written features and reviews for theToronto Star,National Po...
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Title:IntolerableFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.5 inPublished:May 14, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554688876

ISBN - 13:9781554688876

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Insightful memoir! Intolerable by Kamal Al-Solaylee is a memoir that details the author’s life experiences living in the Middle East from the 1960’s all the way to his life in the 2000’s living as a gay man in Toronto, Canada. I rarely read non-fiction, unless it’s a required reading for school and probably only read this because it was on the Canada Reads 2015 Shortlist. The author has an incredible story to tell and I loved the last half of the book more than the first. What’s most interesting is the author realizing, as a young adult, the steps he needs to take if he wants to live somewhere more tolerant. I also loved that not only does the author touch on his own experiences and realizations, but he also delves a bit into the history of his parents and from times as a child that he wouldn’t remember, but his older siblings do. I personally found the writing ordinary and didn’t enjoy the introduction but this a great, short read for both the fiction and non-fiction reader. It’s a book that sheds a lot of light on the Middle East and great for informing the reader on things they might not have known or were ignorant of.
Date published: 2017-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great memoir I enjoyed this memoir and learning a bit about Yemen and Cairo. It sure makes me feel greatful for having been born and raised in Canada.
Date published: 2015-06-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Book Not being very politically minded I found this book very awakening. I thoroughly enjoyed the family's evolution.
Date published: 2015-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The title did not tell my the story. This book opened my eyes to the lives of people from the Middle East in a way that no other has. Kudos to the author for being able to bare his heart. As a Canadian that has no idea about coming from another culture-country, I needed this lesson in what it's like for people who live elsewhere.
Date published: 2015-02-02

Editorial Reviews

“An emotionally powerful read.”