A twelve-year-old girl writes an essay that extols revenge to impress her teacher, and is surprised to receive criticism rather than praise. 'Revenge', Mrs Nomy insists, is 'the most cowardly' human behaviour. Years later, having fled Beirut, she reflects upon the devastating role revenge has played in her country. Might she have found it so easy to forgive if she had stayed? Or might she, too, have contemplated retribution? This is a compelling and humane book, which abounds in courage and compassion.
Mai Ghoussoub, artist, author and playwright, left Beirut for London in 1979, where she co-founded Saqi with Andre Gaspard. Her art has been exhibited internationally, and her play Texterminators was performed in London, Liverpool and Beirut in 2006. Her many publications include Imagined Masculinities, with Emma Sinclair-Webb and Artists and Vitrines, with Shaheen Merali. Her stories have appeared in Hikayat: Short Stories by Lebanese Women and Lebanon, Lebanon. She was a regular contributor to al-Hayat and OpenDemocracy.