by Venus Khoury-Ghata - £10.99 Graywolf Press (2005)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781555974343 | ISBN 10: 1555974341
The thought of killing him never crossed my mind. I want to bury him alive. Your threats, your son's moans, our sobs, have been transformed by time into shame, a shame as penetrating as the rain that soaked the four faces fixed on your slightest movements.
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 beaten by his father - a punishment for masturbating in his sleep. A crime not worthy of the punishment: the neighbours gossip and decided that he must have tried to rape his sistsers. 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.
In this mesmerizing novel, celebrated novelist and poet, Khoury-Ghata, presents the disintegration of a family and a country - both ruled by a fury fueled by fear.
"I found A House at the Edge of Tears stunning and provocative, compelling and haunting. Venus Khoury-Ghata has woven like a lace maker the story of her brother, herself, her family, and a society far removed from any bland ideal... using the finest, poetic, hypnotic prose which pricks you like needles."
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)