Correspondents by Tim Murphy


Correspondents by Tim Murphy
English | 2019 | General Fiction | ePUB | 829 Kb

Correspondents: The world is Rita Khoury’s oyster. The bright and driven daughter of a Boston-area Irish-Arab family that has risen over the generations from poor immigrants to part of the coastal elite, Rita grows up in a 1980s cultural mishmash. Corned beef and cabbage sit on the dinner table alongside stuffed grape leaves and tabooleh, all cooked by Rita’s mother, an Irish nurse who met her Lebanese surgeon husband while working at a hospital together. The unconventional yet close-knit family bonds over summers at the beach, wedding line-dances, and a shared obsession with the Red Sox. Rita charts herself an ambitious path through Harvard to one of the best newspapers in the country. She is posted in cosmopolitan Beirut and dates a handsome Palestinian would-be activist. But when she is assigned to cover the America-led invasion of Baghdad in 2003, she finds herself unprepared for the warzone. Her lifeline is her interpreter and fixer Nabil al-Jumaili, an equally restless young man whose dreams have been restricted by life in a deteriorating dictatorship, not to mention his own seemingly impossible desires. As the war tears Iraq apart, personal betrayal and the horrors of conflict force Rita and Nabil out of the country and into twisting, uncertain fates. What lies in wait will upend their lives forever, shattering their own notions of what they’re entitled to in a grossly unjust world.

Epic in scope, by turns satirical and heartbreaking, and speaking sharply to America’s current moment, Correspondents is a whirlwind story about displacement from one’s own roots, the violence America promotes both abroad and at home, and the resilience that allows families to remake themselves and endure even the most shocking upheavals.

“She laughed and brushed away his hand on her knee. She loved his dry, fucking-with-you sense of humor. “Just drive,” she commanded.

They’d been on a rather desolate industrial strip off the highway, but now they found themselves in downtown Lawton, driving through the grid of what could be so many Northeastern former factory towns, an array of peeling, triple-decker homes, late-Victorian dark-brick hulks of churches and schools, storefronts with grand old engraved signage reading Woolworth or Feinstein’s Apparel, then, in their windows, plywood or tin placards reading comida latina or abogado y agente de bienes raÍces. A few buildings, like a library and a municipal office, were clad in early1970s Brutalist concrete, gray facades scarred now with graffiti and grime.”

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