The stone of laughter by Hoda Barakat

IMG_5046Set in Beirut, Lebanon. Reviewed on 2018/10:

Another jewel of a book from my friends at @interlinkbooks . Before you get excited, let me tell you a few things. This is the kind of book I had to rely on a few external secondary sources to try to understand what was going on. Why is that? Mostly because #hodabarakat wrote #thestoneoflaughter with a heavy dose of totalitarian and oppressive writing style. One internal #monologue after another one with nonsequential and unspoken phrases make for a challenging read indeed albeit one which comes out from the visionary genius of someone literally writing from her basement while there is a #civilwar ravaging the city. Once you have that framework set, do not even dream for a second that #barakat will reveal her secrets. She is not writing for you. She’s not writing for me. She’s not writing for any reader at all. There isn’t much of a storytelling going on here. Instead we are confronted with the brutal and raw feeling of #laughing with death. Forget apathy. What happens when you become one with all the cruelty and horrors around you and start drawing pleasure and actively participating in the brutalities? At the end, I’m going to #highlyrecommend this book anyway. But if you arrive here because of your latest syllabus on post colonial, Arab, gender and LGBTQI studies, Barakat might not let you in. Hence all the negative reviews I saw online. You need to earn any entrance into Barakat’s basement, where she is still surviving and frantically writing away… I do not remember the last time it felt so vivid the fact that I had to earn my right to truly read a book. #lebaneseliterature #arabicliterature#interlinkworldfiction #beirut#everythingisdead #youareallalone#lebanesecivilwar #homosexuality#interlinkbooks #mybeirutweekend#‎هدى_بركات #بيروت# ‎حجر_الضحك#

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: