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Last spring, when Anthony Shadid—one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya as the region erupted—was freed, he went home. Not to Boston, Beirut, or Oklahoma where he was raised by his Lebanese-American family, but to an ancient estate built by his great-grandfather, a place filled with memories of a lost era when the Middle East was a world of grace, grandeur, and unexpected departures. For two years previous, Shadid had worked to reconstruct the house and restore his spirit after both had weathered war. Now the author of the award-winning Night Draws Near tells the story of the house’s re-creation, revealing its mysteries and recovering the lives that have passed through it.
Anthony Shadid’s House of Stone is a lyrical memoir of rebuilding his great-grandfather’s house in southern Lebanon, as well as a granular history of the region, vividly rendering the immigration of the Shadid family to Oklahoma City in the 1920s, a classic—and relevant—American journey. Reminding us of the loss sustained by the death of this brilliant Middle East reporter earlier this year, the book stands as a beautiful and sturdy memorial.