Tagged Ashley Albrecht

Taking up her family’s burden: Tamara Chalabi’s LATE FOR TEA AT THE DEER PALACE

BY ASHLEY ALBRECHT “As with everything in the Middle East, nothing makes sense until you understand the past, and the past is never straightforward.”  Such commences Tamara Chalabi’s first book, Late for Tea at the Deer Palace: The Lost Dreams of My Iraqi Family (HarperCollins).  Part history of Iraq, part ancestral memoir, and part political critique, the text stands to reckon with others of the “return to homeland” vein or East/West “exile literature.”  Chalabi—who dubs her father, Ahmad, “a leading opposition figure to Saddam Hussein’s fallen regime”—masks the latent political defense of her father (which resurfaces again and again throughout…

Class in Love: A look into Sandor Marai’s PORTRAITS OF A MARRIAGE

BY ASHLEY ALBRECHT While his writings were only recently translated into English less than a decade ago, Hungarian author Sandor Marai provides a Modernist-realist window into life on the Continent between the twentieth century’s major world wars.  Portraits of a Marriage, a triangularly-structured love story, originally published in Budapest in 1941, has been newly translated and will soon be re-released by Knopf.  Framed namely by the social classes each of the three major characters finds him or herself in, they grapple with the complexity of love in Marai’s characteristically realist fashion.  All ideals of love, romance, art, and even post-war…