The Mehlis Report by Rabee JaberThe Mehlis Report by Rabee Jaber

The Mehlis Report

byRabee JaberTranslated byKareem James Abu-zeid

Paperback | June 18, 2013

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A complex thriller, The Mehlis Report introduces English readers to a highly talented Arabic writer. When former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri is killed by a massive bomb blast, the U.N. appoints German judge Detlev Mehlisto conduct an investigation of the attack — while explosions continue to rock Beirut. Mehlis’s report is eagerly awaited by the entire Lebanese population.

First we meet Saman Yarid, a middle-aged architect who wanders the tense streets of Beirut and, like everyone else in the city, can’t stop thinking about the pending report. Saman’s sister Josephine, who was kidnapped in 1983,narrates the second part of The Mehlis Report: Josephine is dead, yet exists in a bizarre underworld in the bowels of Beirut where the dead are busy writing their memoirs. Then the ghost of Hariri himself appears… 

Kareem James Abu-Zeid is an award-winning translator of poets and novelists from across the Arab world, including Najwan Darwish, Tarek Eltayeb, and Dunya Mikhail.
Title:The Mehlis ReportFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.5 inPublished:June 18, 2013Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0811220648

ISBN - 13:9780811220644

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Editorial Reviews

Jaber’s novel evokes this unsettled period with frightening precision. Like several of his other books, The Mehlis Report is held together less by its plot or characters than by its uncanny way of capturing the zeitgeist. It reads like a historical novel that happens to be about the very recent past. Jaber seems to think of fiction primarily as a speculative way of writing history. It is not so much concerned with what happened as with what might have happened. He views the past not as an accumulation of facts (though the facts are important), but as a field of unrealized potential, a series of paths not taken, or missed opportunities. — The New York Review of BooksThis novel is a bittersweet love song to Beirut. This novel — this elegy for a lost Beirut, past and future — this novel was carrying me to a place I had never been before. — Alan Cheuse (NPR)