"An amazing piece of writing for a first novel. It retains a poetic language in many instances and a poet’s innate love for interiority and search for meaning."—World Literature Today
"Narrative art is no longer the restricted milieu of novelists . . . enter poet Abbas Beydoun in his celebrated novel Blood Test, armed not only with all the implements of a seasoned novelist but also with the secrets of the language that only poets know well."—Abdo Wazin, al-Hayat
"Hats off to Abbas Beydoun for his pioneering novel Blood Test . . . [which] plunges the reader into a mixture of magic, sinews, and blood to create for us a nervy novel that ushers a new beginning in Arabic literature."—Muhammad ‘Ali Shams al-Din, as-Safir
Widely known throughout the Arab world as a leading poet, journalist, and literary critic, Abbas Beydoun’s writing is infused with the politics and culture of his native Lebanon. In Blood Test, his first novel, Beydoun recounts the efforts of a young man to explore his own history and identity through his encounters with the family and friends who surround him. The sudden death of his father prompts him to follow the physical and psychological traces he left behind, a journey that raises as many questions as it answers. The young man’s search for a sense of belonging and rootedness leads him both forward and back as the narration travels in time and place over two continents and several generations. Max Weiss’s fluid translation effortlessly conveys Beydoun’s impassioned language and textured storytelling. Blood Test is a passport to places both real and imagined, leaving readers enriched by their travels.
Abbas Beydoun is the author of eleven collections of poetry and one novel. He is the editor of the cultural supplement of the Beirut daily newspaper as-Safir.
Max Weiss is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.
6 x 9, 122 pages