“Did the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marques know when he wrote Chronicle of a Death Foretold that he was revealing the letter’s secret…?” Elias Khoury poses this question in Entanglements of Secrets, an elusive novel, some of whose characters also appear in the novel by Marquez. Who came first, and is it important? Such questions run through Khouri’s roman à clef, which sheds a unique and original light on the circumstances underlying the outbreak of the civil war in 1975. As is his wont, Khouri descends to the sewers and brothels of Beirut to tell the story through the eyes of marginal figures in this surprising city.
Elias Khoury (b. Beirut, 1948) is one of the most important contemporary Arab intellectual writers. Thus far he has published eleven novels and three plays, and his books have been translated into many languages. Today he divides his time between Beirut, where he edits the journal of the Institute for Palestinian Studies, and New York, where he teaches Arabic literature at New York University. Entanglements of Secrets is his fifth novel to be translated into Hebrew.