The Arsonists' City
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About the Author
Named a Most Anticipated Title by a Woman of Color for 2021 by R.O. Kwon in Electric Literature "I didn't think I could love The Arsonists' City as much as Salt Houses, but I did. It was sharp, thought-provoking. I couldn't put it down. Hala Alyan is a lyrical force, a much-needed Arab American voice."
--Etaf Rum, New York Times best-selling author of A Woman Is No Man "I don't exactly understand how Hala Alyan does it--conjures love, sorrow, betrayal, and joy; goes from being funny and warm to incisive and thoughtful--but as a reader, I'm glad that she does. The Arsonists' City delivers all the pleasures of a good old-fashioned saga but in Alyan's hands, one family's tale becomes the story of a nation--Lebanon and Syria, yes, but also the United States. It's the kind of book we are lucky to have."
--Rumaan Alam, author of Leave the World Behind "A profound inquiry into what it means to be a family, determine your identity, and hold onto a home -- particularly in a world that doesn't always weigh equally the importance of everyone's home, identity, and family...Alyan is virtuosic at portraying the complicated bonds that exist between family members, and she is unafraid to show both the beauty and the despair that come with true intimacy, love, and loss."
--Refinery29 "Alyan's varied talents never cease to amaze."
--The Millions "Alyan, author of the award-winning Salt Houses, has written another family saga studded with the same beautiful lyricism...Makes for great fiction."
--Lit Hub "No one knows the human heart like Hala Alyan. Her ability to show its unexpected contours is on full display in The Arsonists' City--a book so gorgeously written I found myself reading sentences aloud just to keep them with me a little longer."
--Mira Jacob, author of Good Talk and The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
"Faced with the impending sale of their ancestral home in Beirut, the delightfully flawed members of the Nasr family must confront their late-onset nostalgia just as the secrets they've kept buried from each other are surfacing to air. An irresistible heart-tugger as complex and sensual as Lebanon itself."
--Courtney Maum, author of I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without YouandCostalegre
--Publishers Weekly, starred review