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Rabih Alameddine was born in Jordan to Lebanese parents, and grew up in Kuwait and Lebanon.
He’s the author of the novels Koolaids and I, the Divine, as well as the story collection The Perv. Like his new novel, The Hakawati, all of his fiction has been structurally innovative. Koolaids was composed from the perspective of multiple characters. Sarah, the main character in I, the Divine, wants to write a memoir but can’t seem to get past the first chapter. The novel is composed of her various attempts to begin the book.
Alameddine's work has also appeared in Zoetrope, The Los Angeles Times, The Evening Standard and Al-Hayat, among other publications.
A distinguished painter (some of his work can be seen here), Alameddine also has degrees in business and engineering. “Calling myself a painter doesn’t feel true right now,” he recently said. “I haven’t seriously painted in a long time. My last exhibit was in Norway in 1997, quite a while ago.”
Alameddine is also a longtime soccer player. As he says: “I’ve been playing for 38 years and should have retired a long time ago. (Some have suggested that I should have retired 38 years ago.) I can’t, though. I still schlep my creaky joints and aged knees to the field twice a week. . . . I don’t watch soccer/football as much as I used to though, so one can say I’m finally beginning to grow up.”
The recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship in 2002, Alameddine now divides his time between Beirut and San Francisco.
See what others are saying:
Once Upon Many Times
By Lorraine Adams. The New York Times, May 18, 2008.
"The Hakawati" is a sweeping tale of Arab culture and family
By Mary Brennan. The Seattle Times, May 9, 2008.
By Michael Scharf. Publishers Weekly, March 11, 2008