Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses follows three generations of a Palestinian family and asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can’t go home again.
Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award
On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.
Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize* Fiction Winner of the Arab American Book Award * A Finalist for the Chautauqua Prize * Longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize * An NPR Best Book of 2017* One of NYLON‘s Best Fiction Books of 2017 * One of Kirkus Reviews‘ Best Books of 2017 * One of Bustle‘s 17 Best Fiction Books of 2017 * One of BookPage‘s Best Books of 2017 * An Indie Next Pick —
“Moving and beautifully written, Alyan’s debut chronicles three generations of a Palestinian family as they face two life-altering displacements – the first after 1967’s Six-Day War, and the second following Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.” — Entertainment Weekly
“Spring’s most powerful novel…mystical, compelling…sweeping.” — Town & Country
“[Salt Houses] illustrate[s] the inherited longing and sense of dislocation passed like a baton from mother to daughter.” — New York Times Book Review
“Some family stories we pass on, adding chapters like rooms to a house; others are burned into our subconscious. Poet Hala Alyan’s ambitious debut novel, Salt Houses follows the scattered generations of one Palestinian family for whom ‘nostalgia is an affliction, ‘ moving from the Six-Day War and a future glimpsed in a daughter’s lipsticked coffee cup, to 9/11 and its aftermath.” — Vogue
Hala Alyan is the author of the novel Salt Houses, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award, and a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize. Her latest novel, The Arsonists’ City, was a finalist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize. She is also the author of five highly acclaimed collections of poetry, including The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has been published by The New Yorker, The Academy of American Poets, Literary Hub, The New York Times Book Review, and Guernica. She lives in Brooklyn with her family, where she works as a clinical psychologist and professor at New York University.
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