The refugees are suffering. This novelist will not look away.

But it does not disappear from history. An anonymous author runs on the fringes of the novel, and his inability to write about his volun...

But it does not disappear from history. An anonymous author runs on the fringes of the novel, and his inability to write about his volunteer work in Lesbos or to understand the crisis is a recurring theme. (At one point, the author, so upset by what he saw on the island, locks himself in his hotel room and yells Mahler.)

Mina herself laughs at the character of the writer. “You wrote once and felt self-conscious when critics and critics classified your work as immigrant literature,” Mina says. “You joked that the worst immigration trauma you have ever suffered was when your flight from Heathrow was delayed.”

According to Alameddine, the fact that Mina is trans is not accidental, because “she had to kill and bury her past on more than one occasion”. At the same time, Susan Stryker, transgender scholar and friend of Alameddine, said it was refreshing to meet trans characters whose gender identity is not their main story.

“Trans people make the gender transition at some point – duh. It’s one thing we do, but it’s not all we do, ”Stryker said. And seeing characters like Mina in that setting – doing deeply moral and humanitarian work – rejects the stereotype of trans people as “evil deceivers and impostors,” she said.

In some ways, Alameddine said, writing the refugee characters was the easier part. Mina has a particularly close relationship with a family, headed by a woman with advanced liver disease. But dozens of migrants peruse the novel, from an Iraqi gay couple intrigued by Syrian families treated before them, to a group of children who charm volunteers to buy an ungodly number of chocolate bars.

A chapter, titled “How to Make Liberace Jealous”, was inspired by the home of a woman Alamedine met in Lebanon. She had painstakingly decorated her pantry with glitter, with results “so over the top that a lot of drag queens would kill for it.”

“You wondered what kind of person would think it was a good idea to give thousands of glitter to Syrian refugees who had nothing left, whose entire lives had been extirpated. Bright, shiny, garish, useless sequins? Mina thinks. “A fabulous being, of course, a lovable, wonderful human being.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: The refugees are suffering. This novelist will not look away.
The refugees are suffering. This novelist will not look away.
Newsrust - US Top News
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