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The Arsonists' City

(2021)
A novel by

 
 
"Feels revolutionary in its freshness." —Entertainment Weekly

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

A rich family story, a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home


The Nasr family is spread across the globe—Beirut, Brooklyn, Austin, the California desert. A Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three American children: all have lived a life of migration. Still, they’ve always had their ancestral home in Beirut—a constant touchstone—and the complicated, messy family love that binds them. But following his father's recent death, Idris, the family's new patriarch, has decided to sell.

The decision brings the family to Beirut, where everyone unites against Idris in a fight to save the house. They all have secrets—lost loves, bitter jealousies, abandoned passions, deep-set shame—that distance has helped smother. But in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, an ongoing flow of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, those secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together.
 
In a novel teeming with wisdom, warmth, and characters born of remarkable human insight, award-winning author Hala Alyan shows us again that “fiction is often the best filter for the real world around us” (NPR).

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"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

"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

"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

"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


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Used availability for Hala Alyan's The Arsonists' City

Hardback Editions

March 2021 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Arsonists' City
Author(s): Hala Alyan
ISBN: 0-358-12655-X / 978-0-358-12655-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

March 2022 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Arsonists' City
Author(s): Hala Alyan
ISBN: 0-358-69523-6 / 978-0-358-69523-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

March 2021 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Arsonists' City
Author(s): Hala Alyan
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

March 2021 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Arsonists' City
Author(s): Hala Alyan
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU