Title: The Hakawati
Author: Rabih Alameddine
Publisher: Anchor Canada
This is a book of stories, about family, Identity, love of family filled with stories from generations of storytellers. In fact, Hakawati means storyteller.
Where do I begin with this? The story of generations of storytellers in one family. The strands of the stories weaving together the themes of identity (Lebanese or American? musician, storyteller or engineer?), physical place, and place within the family structure are told.
Osama al-Kharrat returns to Beirut from Los Angeles to bear witness to his father’s death. The entire family gathers around the hospital bed to reminisce and tell stories reaching generations back. As with most family reunions, new stories are created as the now adult children discuss events from their childhood and discover the meaning of said events.
I love the way Alameddine weaves the many generations of stories together to tell the story of a this Lebanese family. Anyone who enjoys good stories will love The Hakawati.