Monday, April 23, 2012
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Anthony Shadid
Foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid had often been praised for bravery in covering Iraq and Libya, but the Pulitzer Prize winner's greatest characteristics were intelligence and insight. Before his death early this year in Syria (from an asthma attack, not a bullet), he authored what would be his final book, a beautifully written extended personal essay on trying to recover his family home in a Lebanese village. Finding his roots was easy for the journalist, whose ancestors fled the increasing uncertainty of the Ottoman Empire for the greater security of Oklahoma City. Knowing what to make of his roots in light of the endless Arab-Israeli conflict, the precarious position of minorities in the region and the fractured state of Lebanon proved more difficult.