You could say I was thinking of other things when I shampooed my hair blue, and two glasses of red wine didn't help my concentration.
Let me explain.
First, you should know this about me: I have but one mirror in my home, a smudged one at that. I'm a conscientious cleaner, you might even say compulsive - the sink is immaculately white, its bronze faucet sparkles - but I rarely remember to wipe the mirror clean. I don't think we need to consult Freud or one of his many minions to know that there's an issue here.An Unnecessary Woman
by Rabih Alameddine
I started listening to this book as I was falling asleep last night and found myself immediate drawn to the voice of the main character, Aaliya Saleh, as portrayed by narrator Suzanne Toren. I'm only 20 or 30 minutes in, but think I'm going to enjoy this one.
Here is the goodreads summary:
Aaliya Saleh lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family's "unnecessary appendage." Every year, she translates a new favorite book into Arabic, then stows it away. The 37 books that Aaliya has translated over her lifetime have never been read by anyone.
In this breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman's late-life crisis, listeners follow Aaliya's digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut. Colorful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and Aaliya's own volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left.
A love letter to literature and its power to define who we are, the prodigiously gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman's life in the Middle East.What do you think of the opening? Would you continue reading?
Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.