Zahi Haddad, "Au Bonheur de Yaya."
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"I see that Lebanon is hurt," writes Zahi Haddad, "that it is suffering and no one will know why". Haddad's French-language autobiography "Au Bonheur de Yaya" (The Happiness of Yaya) recounts the story of the former L'Orient le Jour writer's transhumance from Lebanon to Europe. The eponymous "Yaya," as the reader discovers at the end of the book, is the nickname the author's nephew gave his grandmother – Haddad's mother. "Bonheur" can thus be read as a memoire in triptych – one frame taking up the author's personal journey, another examining his country, a third ruminating on his close relationship with his mother. Haddad's depiction of the way the city smells, sounds, looks and feels at 5 a.m. immediately captures the reader's attention.Like many Lebanese expats, Haddad has a deep bond with his country, one he wants to discover again and again.The find provokes Haddad to examine his family genealogy.Zahi Haddad's "Au Bonheur de Yaya" is published by Tamyras and available at select bookstores.
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