The Secret Maker of the World

A boatman fishes bodies from the Yellow River searching for the one he can claim. A construction worker speeds through the Indonesian jungle to board his plane on time. Playing a terrifying game of cat and mouse, an isolated sniper in Beirut observes the city from his rooftop perch.

Published by University of Queensland Press, 2014. Available from 26 February 2014.

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Leave to Remain: A Memoir

In Leave to Remain: A Memoir, Abbas El-Zein tells his story of growing up in civil-war Beirut, a city in the throes of self-destruction, yet obstinately clinging to its cosmopolitan past. El-Zein traces the genesis of a contemporary Middle Eastern identity – his own – under the influence of culture, religion, history and places far removed from where he grew up: Najaf and Baghdad, Paris, Palestine, London, Sydney and the American Far West.

Published by University of Queensland Press, 2009.

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Tell the Running Water

In a Beirut torn apart by civil war, two young men and a girl find their lives turned upside down almost before they have begun. Each must cross boundaries – geographical, political and personal – and these dangerous transgressions may cost them everything. In this beautiful, haunting novel, in which narratives are constantly broken and rebuilt, the civil war creates its own rules of engagement and invades the protagonist’ lives in most unpredictable ways.

Fiction, Published by Sceptre, 2001.

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