A House at the Edge of Tears

Marilyn Hacker (Translator)


In the city of Beirut, five shabby dwellings circle a courtyard with a pomegranate tree weeping blood red fruit. The residents hear screams in the night as a boy is tossed out into the street by his father--a punishment for masturbating in his sleep. A crime not worthy of the punishment: the neighbors gossip and decide that he must have tried to rape his sisters. "Small-boned with long, silky lashes, no one but the devil could camouflage evil so seductively." The poems he writes are perhaps an even greater crime to his father, but ultimately a gift to his eldest sister, who narrates their story with a combination of brutal truth and stunning prose. As her brother becomes more and more lost to his family and to himself, we also learn of a Contessa who teaches tango, a family who spends every Sunday in search of buried treasure, and the miracle of a weeping Madonna statue that cries when human tears run dry.

In the harrowing and mesmerizing novel A House at the Edge of Tears, celebrated novelist and poet, Khoury-Ghata, presents the disintegration of a family and a country--both ruled by a fury fueled by fear.

Product Details

Graywolf Press
Publish Date
November 01, 2005
5.32 X 0.36 X 8.54 inches | 0.32 pounds
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About the Author

VĂ©nus Khoury-Ghata's She Says, which was also translated by Marilyn Hacker, was recently published in the United States a named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry.