The Journey of Little Gandhi

Elias Khoury; Translated by Paula Haydar




Trade Paperback

208 Pages



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From the author of Gate of the Sun and "one of the most innovative novelists in the Arab World" (The Washington Post Book World) comes the many-layered story of Little Gandhi, or Abd Al-Karim, a shoe shiner in a city fractured by war. Shot down in the street, Gandhi's story is recounted by an aging and garrulous prostitute named Alice.  Ingeniously embedding stories within stories, Little Gandhi becomes the story of a city, Beirut, in the grip of civil war. Once again, as John Leonard wrote in Harper's Magazine, Elias Khoury "fills in the blank spaces on the Middle Eastern map in our Western heads."


Praise for The Journey of Little Gandhi

"Elias Khoury is an artist giving voice to rooted exiles and trapped refugees, to dissolving boundaries and changing identities, to radical demands and new languages."—Edward W. Said

"How to tell the story of a city [Beirut] that has changed from the Switzerland of the East, to its Hong Kong, then its Saigon, and finally its Calcutta. [Elias Khoury] has succeeded, as only a great novelist can do."—Le Monde

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1But they’re talking.I see their images in front of me, fading away behind their eyes. Eyes that vanish, and water. Lots of water, covering everything. And distant voices; voices that seem to be distant. I summon the images before me and listen.I don’t know who’s talking or who’s listening. I’m talking. I’m the one who’s been talking all along. But I’m not sure. Is it my voice or the images? Why are they like that? I see their images while they themselves dissipate like water. Water doesn’t dissipate, water just takes you and goes. They’re
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  • Elias Khoury; Translated by Paula Haydar

  • Elias Khoury is the author of twelve novels including Gate of the Sun, Yalo, Little Mountain and City Gates. He is a professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University, and editor in chief of the literary supplement of Beirut's daily newspaper, An-Nahar.

  • Elias Khoury Nina Subin
    Elias Khoury