LLF Online Book Club
Welcome to Lambda Literary’s online book club. This book club will highlight a different lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender book each month. The books selected will be a heady mix of LGBT classics, unheralded gems, and buzz-worthy new releases.
We hope you’ll read along with us each month and share your thoughts on the books in the comments section.
We’d also love to hear your suggestions for upcoming selections or comments on the club in general. E-mail William at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month’s selection is Rabih Alameddine’s An Unnecessary Woman:
Aaliya Sohbi lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family’s “unnecessary appendage.” Every year, she translates a new favorite book into Arabic, then stows it away. The thirty-seven books that Aaliya has translated over her lifetime have never been read—by anyone. After overhearing her neighbors, “the three witches,” discussing her too-white hair, Aaliya accidentally dyes her hair too blue.
In this breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, readers follow Aaliya’s digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut. Colorful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and Aaliya’s own volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left.
A love letter to literature and its power to define who we are, the prodigiously gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman’s life in the Middle East.Below you’ll find links to and and further information about the book.
Enjoy and remember: reading is fundamental
An Unnecessary Woman
By Rabih Alameddine
Hardcover, 9780802122148, 304 pp.