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Night
Etel Adnan




Nightboat
2016 • 64 pp. 5 1/2 x 8"
Poetry / Essays

$12.95 Paperback, 978-1-937658-53-3



“These poems engage in a daring, meditative exploration of perception and her own experiences. Adnan does this with a courageous interiority that becomes universal as the text unfolds. Memory is a particularly notable leitmotif as it relates to identity, whether personal or collective.” —Publishers Weekly

A luminescent new book by one of our leading innovative writers

Etel Adnan’s evocative new book places night at its center to unearth memories held in the body, the spirit and the landscape. This striking new book continues Adnan’s meditative observation and inquiry into the experiences of her remarkable life.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Trained in philosophy, Beirut-born author/activist Adnan blends a meditation on the meaning of memory with memories themselves, dredged up from a long life. And surely night, her setting here, is the time for such dredging. Adnan rigorously asserts that “reason and memory move together.” But she argues that “a remembered event is a return to a mystery,” and her writing is eye-openingly lush, gorgeous, even surreal (“waves of roses are blanketing memory”), showing us the mind at work on its unstructured, uncertain edges. The epigrammatic ending, “Conversations with my soul” (“Why are we lonelier when/ together”), will feed even those who don’t typically read poetry. VERDICT A good way for sophisticated readers to recall why they first loved verse.”—Library Journal

“Throughout Etel’s literary and artistic career, which has lasted over six decades, she has constantly endeavored to deconstruct questions of language. This quest has its roots in her family history; whenever she is asked about Arabic, she refers to her parents’ house in Beirut, and recalls her Greek mother and Syrian father, who met through the Turkish language. Etel’s father was born in Damascus and later joined the Ottoman army, where he learned German and French. In her testimony “To Write in a Foreign Language,” Etel recalls her father’s attempts to teach her Arabic and explains how the many languages in her life often changed based on location: Turkish and Greek at home, French in school, Arabic in the streets. Etel says that her father spoke to her mother in Turkish, but during the wars he would write her romantic letters in French. In this way, French became the language with which Etel would battle the world.”—Mona Kareem, Los Angeles Review of Books

“There are few lives that have charted the dislocations, tectonic shifts, passions, and innumerable heartbreaks of the modern Arab world more thoroughly than Etel Adnan… She is a writer of searing, sometimes surrealist heights.” —Negar Azimi, Artforum



Born in 1925 in Beirut, ETEL ADNAN has written more than a dozen books of poetry, fiction, and essays. A two-volume collection, To look at the sea is to become what one is: An Etel Adnan Reader, was published in 2014. She is a recipient of a PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award, the California Book Award, a Lambda Book Award, and a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. She lives in Paris and Sausalito, California.



Sat, 2 Dec 2017 12:19:18 -0500