The Identity Crisis of A Maybe Lebanese
Life as a Leb-neh Lover is a lively adaptation from her 12 years of blogging, we are treated to an action-packed memo of a young half-Lebanese, half-Polish woman away from ‘home’ (wherever that may be!). She shares with her readers a series of light and breezy, funny and often touching episodes from a young adulthood crammed full of triumphs, mishaps, highs and lows. Poignantly illustrated by Maya Fidawi, this is a hilarious but touching tribute to preserving Kathy’s attachment to Lebanon.
Finalist-Best New Non-Fiction in the International Book Awards 2011
Finalist-Multicultural Non-Fiction in the International Book Awards 2011
Finalist-Non-Fiction Narrative in the 2011 USA Best Book Awards
Life as a Leb-neh Lover is the first English book, that I have ever read, directed towards a Lebanese audience. And I was really impressed. Really.
I went in expecting a fluffy and cheesy book that would make me cringe as I read it. Instead, I found myself reading a fluffy, yet truthful and spot-on depiction of Lebanon and the Lebanese who stay there or decide to leave. This book portrays Kathy’s journey of self-discovery as she goes back and forth from Lebanon, the United States, and to France.
Since I am a “Lebanese-ish” girl as well, I found Kathy’s conflicting emotions and feelings towards Lebanon truly relatable. For the first time ever, I was able to read about someone else struggle to belong to their country, just like I do. The saying goes… I’m too Lebanese to be a foreigner, yet I’m too foreign to be a Lebanese.
This book was a delight to read. The writing is very simple, and the text is composed of short entries (since they were originally blog posts). Thus, Life as a Leb-neh Lover becomes a very easy and light read. It contains various topics and genres of writing from anecdotes to poetry. Some parts will cause you to laugh and some will cause you to blink back tears. In addition, the illustrations present a fresh perspective and an authentic visual of some of the scenes in the book.
And let me just add this, this book captures my exact sentiments about driving in Lebanon. It’s freaking stressful, maddening, and strenuous. It was also one of my favorite scenes to read about. The author did an excellent job writing about the chaos in Lebanon, but she also managed to balance it out by presenting and highlighting the gems of this country.
I truly recommend this book. If you’re Lebanese, then this book is written in a way that allows you to relate to Kathy’s journey somehow. And if you’re not, then you’ll be introduced to an authentic description of Lebanon and the identity crises that we Lebanese all go through.
I can definitely relate to this novel and author. This is almost exactly like what my perspective of Lebanon/America is, except for I lived in the US all my life and moved to Lebanon; whereas she lived in Lebanon and moved to the US.
As I am reading this book, I can relate to
everything that she talks about. Whether it is the organization and neat
lines at the grocery store, mechanic, or airport in the US, I can
relate to it because I noticed the same changes in cultures and
countries once I moved to Lebanon.
The main character is also around my age, going to college and preparing for life on her own (this gives me some inspiration to focus and be determined to be on my own, responsible and wanting to succeed for my family and fiends in the US and Lebanon.
This is an amazing book so far; possibly one of the best I’ve read in a while!
L’Orient Le Jour
The Cube Review