Book Review: Born into Trouble

THE DAY NINA SIMONE STOPPED SINGING by Darina Al-Joundi with Mohammed Kacimi (The Feminist Press)


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The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing starts as a coming-of-age memoir about a girl and her iconoclastic father who challenges fundamentalism with the declaration “It is forbidden to forbid.” But this is Lebanon during civil war, and Darina Al-Joundi details the deterioration: Dogs chew on thigh bones, and “the hospital had replaced the village square.” Her assessment of Lebanon in peacetime is equally haunting: “They all put on the same masks, executioners and victims mingling.”

Cover-MA11-thumbnailThis article first appeared in the March-April 2011 issue of Utne Reader.