The Syrian Ladies Benevolent Society

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Pub Date 14 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 05 Jan 2024

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Description

*EARLY UNCORRECTED PROOF*

Indelible linked stories centred around Azurée, a young Arab woman living in the echoes of her ancestors' voices.

Masterfully tracing the deep roots of the Arab immigrant experience, these interlocking stories follow an Arab family as they flee the Middle East in the nineteenth century, settle in Montreal in the twentieth, and face the collision between tradition and modernity in the twenty-first. This family includes trailblazing Lebanese freedom fighters, undercover operatives in World War II, and brave Syrian refugees trying to find their place in Canadian society. This line of daring women culminates in Azurée. 

As a young Arab woman living in the wake of her family’s histories, Azurée contends with all the meanings of her blood—ethnicity and lineage, sexuality and menstruation, pain and death. Over the years, through many romantic entanglements, Azurée journeys from teen mallrat to searching student to troubled traveller, until she finally stands in her ancestral home ready to confront her past—and her future.

With imaginative aplomb and abiding passion, the unforgettable connected stories in The Syrian Ladies Benevolent Society explore love and suspicion, trust and betrayal, faith and despair, war and displacement in an explosive debut collection that pushes the expectations for Arab women beyond conventions, beliefs, and borders.

*EARLY UNCORRECTED PROOF*

Indelible linked stories centred around Azurée, a young Arab woman living in the echoes of her ancestors' voices.

Masterfully tracing the deep roots of the Arab immigrant...


Advance Praise

"Vivid and arresting from the very first line, this accomplished debut will leave an indelible imprint on your heart and mind with its powerful prose and compassionate storytelling. This collection weaves women together through the fabric of time and through their bravery, humanity, and hope even in the face of atrocities and defeat. Compulsively readable and intricately wrought, The Syrian Ladies Benevolent Society is a must-read from a writer to watch." —Marissa Stapley, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky


"Gorgeous and gutting, The Syrian Ladies Benevolent Society asks (screams, whispers): What makes us? Are we our pasts, all our histories and families and generational traumas stacked on top of each other like a piece of additive sculpture? Or are we our present, our choices, remaking ourselves each day in a continual act of becoming? Instead of answering with either/or, this book says (screams, whispers), over and over again, yes." — Natalie Zina Walschots, author of Hench


"Christine Estima’s debut is startling and heartrending, generous and vivid. It’s easy to fall in love with Christine’s insistence on compassion for women who are afforded little of it. With extraordinary prose and boundless empathy, The Syrian Ladies Benevolent Society asks us to consider if we are inevitable products of our family history. No matter what answer you land on, this book will transform you." — Elamin Abdelmahmoud, author of Son of Elsewhere



"In The Syrian Ladies Benevolent Society, the past is very much a living character that shapes and informs the present moment. Christine Estima has penned a refreshingly vibrant and multicultural portrait of Montreal that braids together different branches of the historical record with precise prose and a sharp eye for human complexity." — Dimitri Nasrallah, author of Hotline

"Vivid and arresting from the very first line, this accomplished debut will leave an indelible imprint on your heart and mind with its powerful prose and compassionate storytelling. This collection...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781487012335
PRICE $17.99 (USD)
PAGES 208

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