Naïm Kattan
Translated by Antonio D'Alfonso


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A Syrian writer living in Montreal, René Shems is also a specialist of Canadian history. After participating in a celebration organized in his honor, Shems decides to send letters to friends and colleagues. He also writers to his ex-wife, his daughter living in the U.S.A., and a past lover. Through this letters the reader meets a successful man. And yet once the letters sent, Shems questions his own success and works. Celebrations contains wonderful pages on culture shock, but also interesting thoughts on love, friendship, urban living, people, and cultures. Naim Kattan has produced a marvelous work of fiction and ideas.

Naïm Kattan is a Canadian novelist, essayist and critic of Iraqi Jewish origin. He has written under many titles: author and critic; academic; pluralist; Arab; Jew; Canadian and Francophone. He has famously never accepted or rejected any one of these titles. Instead, Kattan has embraced the theme of identity and concept of rebirth. Naim Kattan has said that he was born three times: first in Baghdad, then in Paris and a third birth in Montréal. Kattan wrote a literary column in Le Devoir, and for close to 25 years he headed the writing and publishing division of the Canada Council for the Arts Writing and Publication program. Kattan was also an Associate professor in the Department of Literary Studies at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Kattan’s greatest legacy is his literary work, especially Farewell, Babylon. To undertake the study of Naim Kattan’s work is to bring about understanding in Arab, Jewish and diaspora studies.

ISBN 978-1-77171-314-6
120 pages
5.5 x 8.5
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