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 Q. Staff Picks
A Middle Eastern heart-of-darkness tale that flows like a dream ... crackling with razor-sharp humor.--The New York Times
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 Universit Saint-Joseph in Beirut. Moving the Palace is the winner of the prestigious Fran ois Mauriac Prize from the Acad mie Fran aise as well as the Prix Tropiques.