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Hala Alyan

Salt Houses

Salt Houses

Regular price $17.00 USD
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Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award

A Best Book of the Year: NPR NYLON  Kirkus  Bustle  BookPage

"What does home mean when you no longer have a houseor a homeland? This beautiful novel traces one Palestinian family's struggle with that question and how it can haunt generations. . . . This is an example of how fiction is often the best filter for the real world around us." — NPR

Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses follows three generations of a Palestinian family and asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can’t go home again.

On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.  

Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia’s brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can’t escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home and their land, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia’s children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities.  

Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand.

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