In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country
Author: Etel Adnan
Publisher: City Lights (2005)
A mosaic of lyrical vignettes, at once deeply personal and political, set against the turbulent backdrop of Arab/Western relations. Adnan writes, "Contrary to what is usually believed, it is not general ideas and grandiose unfolding of great events that impress the mind during times of heightened historic upheavals, but rather the uninterrupted flow of little experiences, observations, disturbances, small ecstasies, or barely perceptible discouragements that make up day-to-day living."
"As the new world order continues to produce and rewrite our history, mainstream literary culture invades our consciousness to finally sever us from reality. Steadfast in her adherence to the world, Etel Adnan’s work is a mix of prose, poetry, political insight, philosophic speculation and historical remembrance honed here to mineral perfection. Working close to the very heart of American poetic power but from the centers of official recognition, Adnan has been delivering the news for decades, her eyes always focused on 'the narrow and long road which leads to the slaughter-house.'"
"For years, Etal Adnan has been writing a quiet lyric prose that is also insistently political. In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country returns to the explorations of the history of war and the female body that made Sitt Marie Rose—her novel of the Lebanese civil war—a classic. Here she uses short vignettes to examine the world wide resonances of yet another war in the Middle East, to speak poignantly of how its terrors mix with mundane moments of beauty. This is a moving and complicated work."