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One Last Drink at Guapa

One Last Drink at Guapa

Saleem Haddad

Category

Fiction

Format

Paperback with flaps

Price

$7.68 $6.91

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Excerpt

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$7.68 $6.91

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(Paperback with flaps | ISBN 9789385755095 | 368 pages | June 2016)

Summary

A debut novel that tells the story of Rasa, a young gay man coming of age in the Middle East.

Set over the course of twenty-four hours, One Last Drink at Guapa follows Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, and trying to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and religious upheaval. Rasa spends his days translating for Western journalists, and pining for the nights when he can sneak his lover, Taymour, into his room. Then one morning Rasa’s grandmother, the woman who raised him, catches them in bed together. The following day—the day leading up to Taymour’s wedding—Rasa is consumed by the search for his best friend Maj, a fiery activist and drag queen star of the underground bar, Guapa, who has been arrested by the police. Ashamed to go home and face his grandmother, and reeling from the potential loss of the three most important people in his life, he roams the city’s slums and prisons, the lavish weddings of the country’s elite, and the bars where outcasts and intellectuals drink to a long-lost revolution. Each new encounter leads him closer to confronting his own identity, as he revisits his childhood and probes the secrets that haunt his family. As Rasa confronts the simultaneous collapse of political hope and his closest personal relationships, he is forced to discover the roots of his alienation and try to re-emerge into a society that may never accept him.

Excerpt

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


Reviews

‘A vibrant, wrenching debut novel...sensuous and caustic, full of smoke and blood.’
The New Yorker

‘Haddad writes like an Arab Tennessee Williams, fuelled equally by rage and compassion.’
—Nick Seeley, author of Cambodia Noir

‘Those looking for a nuanced portrait of gay life in the modern Middle East will find plenty to admire in this…promising debut.’
Kirkus Reviews

‘Family, identity, and politics collide in Haddad’s debut… The topic of gay life in the Arab world is richly complex, and Haddad’s cinematic, evocative prose rises to meet the sensitive subject matter.’
Publisher’s Weekly

‘As one of few queer novels with an Arab protagonist, [One Last Drink at] Guapa must not be overlooked. If [it] finds its way into the canon of queer literature, we will all be stronger for it. ’
Lambda Literary

‘An engrossing and timely debut novel by a provocative new voice. Haddad’s characters are unforgettable.’
—Randa Jarrar, author of A Map of Home

‘A remarkable debut.’
The Huffington Post

‘Haddad’s unwavering dedication to detail, narrative arc, and consequence make [One Last Drink at] Guapa necessarily poignant, uncomfortable, and meaningful. Like all good art, it moves beyond itself to shine a light on the world it bears.’
PopMatters

‘[One Last Drink at] Guapa shines beautifully in its moments of sweetness and satire.’
Full Stop

‘Haddad presents a striking look at gay life, the psychological cost of conformity, and what it means to be true to yourself from a Middle Eastern perspective.’
Booklist

‘[One Last Drink at] Guapa sets Haddad up as a literary voice capable of narrating untold stories of the modern gay experience, from one of the most complicated parts of the world.’
Attitude Magazine

‘By turns politically nuanced and romantically tender.’
Next Magazine

'It’s an entertaining and empathetic narrative that leaves one laughing along, or touched’.
— Deccan Herald


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