Moving the Palace (Paperback)
Every now and again, you find a novel that fills you with wanderlust, that so thoroughly places you in a time and place that you feel the need to stay there for longer, to learn more about the people who inhabited it. This is such a book--a Lebanese adventure novel full of politics and intrigue, outrageous situations, charming characters, and even a brief appearance from T.E. Lawrence. It's a meditation on history and how we write it from a distance, of how the stories we tell others can grow in the passing from mouth to mouth. Let this book be your personal oasis as the summer months get hotter and the travel bug starts to get under your skin.
-- Cari— From Cari K. Staff Picks
At the dawn of the 20th century, a young Lebanese explorer leaves the Levant for the wilds of Africa, encountering an eccentric English colonel in Sudan and enlisting in his service. In this lush chronicle of far-flung adventure, the military recruit crosses paths with a compatriot who has dismantled a sumptuous palace in Tripoli and is transporting it across the continent on a camel caravan. The protagonist soon takes charge of this hoard of architectural fragments, ferrying the dismantled landmark through Sudan, Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, attempting to return to his native Beirut with this moveable real estate. Along the way, he encounters skeptic sheikhs, suspicious tribal leaders, bountiful feasts, pilgrims bound for Mecca and T.E. Lawrence in a tent. This is a captivating modern-day Odyssey in the tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Paul Theroux.
Charif Majdalani, born in Lebanon in 1960, is often likened to a Lebanese Proust. He teaches French literature at the Universite Saint-Joseph in Beirut. Moving the Palace is the winner of the prestigious Francois Mauriac Prize from the Academie Francaise as well as the Prix Tropiques.
About the Author
Charif Majdalani, born in Lebanon in 1960, is often compared to a Lebanese Proust. Majdalani lived in France from 1980 to 1993 and now teaches French literature at the Universite Saint-Joseph in Beirut. The original French version of his novel Moving the Palace won the 2008 Francois Mauriac Prize from the Academie Francaise as well as the Prix Tropiques. Edward Gauvin has received prizes and fellowships including those awarded by PEN America, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Fulbright program. His work has won the John Dryden Translation Prize and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award. He has translated over 200 graphic novels.