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Rayyan Al-Shawaf
Reviewer
Rayyan Al-Shawaf is a writer and book critic based in Beirut and Brummana, Lebanon. His book reviews have appeared in such North American newspapers as The Boston Globe, Charlotte Observer, Chicago Reader,… Read more

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In his new novel, Paul Auster manages to conjoin gimmickry and genius, as readers find their perspective radically altered by a detail unveiled at the end.

The Return
Book Review

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"When Qaddafi took my father," Hisham Matar writes in the long-awaited nonfiction account of his father's disappearance, "he placed me in a space not much bigger than the cell Father was in. I paced back and forth, anger in one direction, hatred in the other, until I could feel my insides grow small and hard."

Their Promised Land
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Were Ian Buruma not an acclaimed historian, this book would probably never have been published. Yet the story of his grandparents, which spans both world wars, is full of resonance for contemporary Europe’s struggle with mass immigration and national identity.

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Bio

Rayyan Al-Shawaf is a writer and book critic based in Beirut and Brummana, Lebanon. His book reviews have appeared in such North American newspapers as The Boston Globe, Charlotte Observer, Chicago Reader, Chicago Sun-Times, Christian Science Monitor, (Toronto) Globe and Mail, Miami Herald, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, New York Press, (Raleigh) News & Observer, San Antonio Express-News, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times), Tennessean and Washington City Paper. Longer reviews and essays have been published in magazines such as the Barnes & Noble Review, Bookforum, Books & Culture, Brooklyn Rail, Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books and Paste. He has recently begun circulating his fiction, with short stories appearing in literary journals The Vehicle and Clarion, and is currently at work on a novel.
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