House Of Stone by Anthony Shadid

87%

27 Critic Reviews

Knowing that Shadid lost his life shortly before this book was published makes each piece of tile he polished, each plant he nurtured, feel all the more significant.
-LA Times

Synopsis

“Wonderful . . . One of the finest memoirs I’ve read.” — Philip Caputo, Washington Post

In the summer of 2006, racing through Lebanon to report on the Israeli invasion, Anthony Shadid found himself in his family’s ancestral hometown of Marjayoun. There, he discovered his great-grandfather’s once magnificent estate in near ruins, devastated by war. One year later, Shadid returned to Marjayoun, not to chronicle the violence, but to rebuild in its wake.

So begins the story of a battle-scarred home and a journalist’s wounded spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this bittersweet and resonant memoir, Shadid creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the house’s renewal alongside the history of his family’s flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America around the turn of the twentieth century. In the process, he memorializes a lost world and provides profound insights into a shifting Middle East. This paperback edition includes an afterword by the journalist Nada Bakri, Anthony Shadid’s wife, reflecting on his legacy.

“A poignant dedication to family, to home, and to history . . . Breathtaking.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“Entertaining, informative, and deeply moving . . . House of Stone will stand a long time, for those fortunate enough to read it.” — Telegraph (London)
 

About Anthony Shadid

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ANTHONY SHADID (1968-2012), author of Night Draws Near, was an unparalleled chronicler of the human stories behind the news. He gained attention and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, for his front-page reports in the Washington Post from Iraq. More recently, as Middle East correspondent for the New York Times, he covered the Arab Spring from Egypt to Libya (where he was held captive in March, 2011) to Syria. In 2010, he earned his second Pulitzer. Tragically, on February 16, 2012, he died while on assignment in Syria.
 
Published February 28, 2012 by Mariner Books. 337 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 18 2012
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Critic reviews for House Of Stone
All: 27 | Positive: 23 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
Jan 15 2012

A complicated, elegiac, beautiful attempt to reconcile the physical bayt (home) and the spiritual.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Patrick Cockburn on Mar 09 2012

The book would be easier to read if it had a more chronological format and was less a mosaic of barely connected episodes.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Steve Coll on Feb 26 2012

At the heart of the book, Mr. Shadid’s third, lies the strong, open voice of its author.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Eileen Nicol on Mar 15 2012

As might be expected from a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Shadid laces his memoir with telling details. . .But the author’s personal voice is also abundant. . .

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Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Mark Pendergrast on Mar 03 2012

The flashbacks to his family's past can sometimes seem haphazard and forced.

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Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Hadani Ditmars on Apr 10 2012

As I read his moving memoir, I could picture him in action, using all the gumption he had acquired after years spent in war zones, to make the seemingly impossible repair and restoration of his ancestral home a reality.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Hadani Dimars on Apr 10 2012

. . .Shadid offers a carefully observed meditation not only on Lebanese village life, but on what it is like to try and build a sense of home in the midst of a war zone.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Lorraine Ali on Mar 19 2012

Knowing that Shadid lost his life shortly before this book was published makes each piece of tile he polished, each plant he nurtured, feel all the more significant.

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The Washington Post

Good
Reviewed by Philip Caputo on Mar 02 2012

He also turned the experience into one of the finest memoirs I’ve read. It’s a shame, almost an injustice, that he did not live to see it in print.

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Oregon Live

Excellent
Reviewed by Debra Gwartney on Apr 07 2012

In this deft, witty and deeply moving account, Shadid lives up to his reputation, described in the Times' account of his death as "an intrepid reporter, keen observer and lyrical stylist."

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City Book Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Jane Manaster on May 10 2012

House of Stone is a worthy legacy.

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Macleans

Excellent
Reviewed by Brian Bethune on Mar 22 2012

. . .the fragile but very real note of hope that ends House of Stone is heartbreaking.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Excellent
Reviewed by Leslie Rubinkowski on May 09 2012

Despite its seriousness, it would be a mistake to ignore that "House of Stone" is also very funny.

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Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by John Freeman on Mar 04 2012

It is a masterpiece, and a terrible reminder of what an empathic guide to the Middle East we lost last month with Shadid’s passing.

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Salon

Excellent
Reviewed by Jefferson Morley on Feb 17 2012

This is the last testament of a superb reporter and citizen of the world who had the wisdom to find his bayt.

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NY Daily News

Excellent
Reviewed by Karen Zraick on Mar 02 2012

Shadid’s generous sense of humor shines as he describes the often difficult characters he employs in the sparsely populated village.

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Tulsa World

Excellent
Reviewed by Farah Nayeri on Mar 18 2012

. . .the strongest parts of "House of Stone" are those in which Shadid recounts his own life and career.

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The National

Below average
Reviewed by Saul Austerlitz on Feb 24 2012

The story of his family's journey to the US is too disjointed to hold the reader's attention and distracts from Shadid's reportage.

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The Seattle Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Ken Armstrong on Mar 04 2012

. . .Shadid's longing is so genuine, and his identification of home so definite, that "House of Stone" builds emotionally, reaching depths that surprise.

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Journal Sentinel

Excellent
Reviewed by Mike Fischer on Feb 25 2012

There are empathetic sketches, characteristic of Shadid's best journalism, describing his Marjayoun friends - often living reminders of a gentler time.

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New York Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Kathryn Schulz on Mar 01 2012

. . .a strange and often lovely hybrid — one-third memoir, one-third Middle Eastern history, one-third. . .the Contractor Nightmare Narrative.

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The Express Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Huma Imtiaz on Apr 01 2012

. . .an evocative tale that makes one marvel at Shadid’s storytelling skills. . .

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Washingtonian

Excellent
Reviewed by Drew Bratcher on Apr 04 2012

On display is the ear for dialogue, eye for telling detail, and nose for big ideas expected from Shadid's Middle East dispatches.

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Wichita Eagle

Below average
Reviewed by Gaylord Dold on Mar 18 2012

Sadly, the book remains messy in print, at times disorganized, poorly written and confusing.

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The Saturday Evening Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Hann

These sections about his family are the true gems of the book.

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World Literature Today (The University of Oklahoma)

Excellent
Reviewed by Matt Carney

. . .a setting evoked in the small details noticeable only to a world-class reporter’s eye.

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Ocala.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Kim Curtis on Apr 08 2012

He skillfully reveals himself to us without a hint of romanticism, with only breathtaking prose — a fitting and unintentional elegy.

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