"In Canceled Memories, Nazik Yared depicts the long war in Lebanon with energy, passion, and faithfulness. . . . When words fail, the protagonist turns to the camera, zooming in and out, to capture the scenes and record them. And the pictures endure, even if the memories are canceled."—Emily Nasrallah, Al-Anwar
Set during the Lebanese civil war, this novel chronicles the splintering of the Al-Mukhtars, a Lebanese family whose love and trust for one another is strained by the increasing economic, social, and psychological tensions that surround them. Huda, feeling helpless as a housewife, pursues a career as a university professor and immerses herself in her work and students. Sharif, trapped in a static bureaucratic position, begins to resent his wife’s success and slowly withdraws from his family. When their marriage dissolves, the couple fight over the custody of their adolescent daughter. In a patriarchal society that favors the rights of the father, Huda is powerless as her daughter is taken from her. Through the author’s use of flashbacks, the reader witnesses the stark contrast between the young, idealistic couple and the older husband and wife, who have become increasingly isolated and disillusioned.
Narrated through the voices of several characters, Canceled Memories depicts a Lebanese family seeking to maintain love and trust for each other despite the destructive and corrupting effects of war. Nadine Sinno’s fluent translation introduces a wider audience to one of Lebanon’s finest contemporary writers.
Nazik Saba Yared is an acclaimed Lebanese writer and critic. She is the author of numerous books, including the novels Improvisations of a Mission String, translated by Stuart A. Hancox, and Al-Aqni`a (The Masks).
Nadine Sinno is currently completing her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Arkansas, where she also teaches world literature and composition.