Review highlights mass appeal of new novel ‘Lebanese Blonde’

by Emily on September 11, 2012

The story of two Lebanese immigrant cousins who concoct a scheme to import a potent strain of hashish into the United States using the family’s mortuary business as a cover, Joseph Geha’s Lebanese Blonde has been praised as “a book for all libraries with eager fiction readers” by a recent Booklist review. “The complexity of character building and plot structure ensures that what could have been an outrageous climax is believable and satisfying,” the review states.

Lebanese Blonde takes place in 1975-76 at the beginning of Lebanon’s sectarian civil war. Set primarily in the Toledo, Ohio, “Little Syria” community, the novel follows Aboodeh, a self-styled entrepreneur, and Samir, his young, reluctant accomplice. When Teyib, a newly arrived war refugee, stumbles onto their hashish-importing plans, his clumsy efforts to gain acceptance raise suspicion. Aboodeh and Samir’s problems grow still more serious when a shipment goes awry and their links to the war-ravaged homeland are severed.

Joseph Geha, author of Through and Through: Toledo Stories (Graywolf 1990), is a professor emeritus of the creative writing program at Iowa State University. On Thursday, November 8 at 6 p.m. Geha will sign copies of Lebanese Blonde at the Franklin Park Barnes & Noble in Toledo.


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