Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Night Counter - Alia Younis

The Night Counter is a new Nights-related fictional novel written by Alia Younis, who teaches at Zayed University in the UAE.

Book website/author blog:

About the book (from the above site):

"Fatima Abdullah has been alive 85 long years, and she knows when her time will come. In fact, it should come just nine days from tonight, the 992nd nightly visit of the beautiful and immortal Scheherazade.

Each night, Fatima has told Scheherazade her life stories, all the while knowing that on the 1001st night, her storytelling will end forever. But between tonight and night 1001, Fatima has a few loose ends to tie up. She must find a wife for her openly gay grandson, teach Arabic (and birth control) to her 17-year-old great-granddaughter, make amends with her estranged husband, and decide which of her troublesome children should inherit her family's home in Lebanon--a house she herself has not seen in nearly 70 years. All this while under the surveillance of two bumbling FBI agents eager to uncover Al Qaeda in L.A.

Alia Yunis unravels four generations of Abdullah family secrets with a great sense of comic timing and a deft touch of magical realism. Touching on the histories of both the United States and the Middle East over the last one hundred years, this is a love story that crosses five generations with wit and warmth."

And here is a review by student Karina Anne Kabbash:

Excerpt from the review:

"Recently, I finished reading a fantastic novel by the name of The Night Counter. The fiction begins on the 992 night of storytelling by Fatima Abdullah, a Lebanese-immigrant-grandmother, to Scheherazade, the immortal storyteller from The Arabian Nights. Over the course of nine days, Fatima shares the stories of her home in Lebanon and of her life in the United States, until the 1001 night, the night her storytelling ends forever. Scheherazade brings Fatima’s stories to life by searching out the characters within them and following them for a day or two. Through Fatima’s tales and Scheherazade’s journeys, the reader is awarded a wonderful glimpse into life of an Arab immigrant to the Untied States and her struggle to reconcile her Arab self within American society, as well as the cultural changes that occur across generations in an Arab-American family."

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