Translated from the French by Alberto Manguel To call your son Ossyane is like calling him Rebellion or Disobedience. When Ossyane's father gives him that name, it represents the protest of an aristocratic but liberal man against a history of sectarianism and violence that has characterized the world he inherited from his Ottoman ancestors. But his brilliant, dutiful son develops into a peaceable young man, and travels to France to study, away from the burden of his father's revolutionary ambitions. War breaks out in Europe, and Ossyane is drawn into the Resistance, where he meets Clara. He returns to Beirut, to a rebel hero's welcome after all, and to joyful marriage with Clara. The Jewish-Muslim couple move to Haifa, but if one war has made a hero out of Ossyane, another, much closer to home, is destined to separate him from the people and the world that he loves. In this novel, the first by Amin Maalouf to be set in the modern Middle East, the author's exceptional gift of narrative lends itself to a story that becomes a powerful allegory for the struggles and anarchy that have beset his native land for the last half-century.
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Published July 1, 2001
by Random House UK.
History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction.