House of Stone
Subtitled “A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East” Anthony Shadid’s enlightening book tells the story of his reclaiming and restoring the house his great grandfather had built in Marjayoun, a small town in southern Lebanon. His narrative tells not only of his continual frustrations with the reconstruction project, but he also helps us understand the chaotic times of the Levant, from the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire after World War I to the present day.
Unfortunately, this elegant book by Shadid (who won two Pulitzer prizes and was a former correspondent for the Washington Post) was his last. He died in Syria in February 2012 while reporting for the New York Times about the conflict there. Leaving the country on horseback, he suffered an acute asthma attack (an allergic reaction to the horses), and died before he could obtain medical assistance. I highly recommend this book to anyone.