Absent: A Novel

Rosalind Palermo Stevenson: Excerpt from The Absent (a Novel-in-progress)
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In the same building, Umm Mazin, a fortune-teller, offers her customers cures for their physical and romantic ailments, Saad the hairdresser attends to a dwindling number of female customers, and Ilham, a nurse, escapes the stark realities of her hospital job in dreams of her long-lost French mother. Despite the damaging effects of bombings and international sanctions on their world, all the residents try to maintain normal lives. Meanwhile, Dalal falls in love for the first time—against a background of surprise arrests, personal betrayals, and a crumbling social fabric that turns neighbors into informants.

Tightly crafted and full of vivid, unforgettable characters, Absent is a haunting portrait of life under restrictions, the fragile emotional ties among family and friends, and the resilience of the human spirit. Betool Khedairi was born in Baghdad in to an Iraqi father and a Scottish mother. With a compassionate eye Khedairi explores a community, damaged by wars and sanctions, struggling for survival.

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Betool Khedairi performs the miraculous feat of transforming Iraq from an abstraction into a world populated by real people devastated by the intrusions of an empire on the other side of the globe. Read An Excerpt. Cal himself is a paradigm as father and husband, but terrified of water. His death at sea transfers that fear to his eldest son, who makes his living as a safety adviser for the very same rigs.

Absent In The Spring

Dalal is a young woman living in a crowded Baghdad apartment with the childless aunt and uncle who raised her. In the same building, Umm Mazin. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Iraqi-Scot novelist Khedairi (A Sky So Close) tells Look inside this book. Absent: A Novel by [Khedairi, Betool].

Yellowknife, Against the backdrop of environmental and cultural controversy, this novel follows a cast of northern radio jockeys trying to carve a niche for themselves during the rise of TV. Among the principal characters is Eleanor Dew, a woman whose father died when she was young and who has spent a lifetime in loneliness, too afraid or too unable to find similar comfort in a companion.

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More legend than fictional creation, Jerry Potts is a half- Blackfoot , half-Scottish guide for a pair of rich Englishmen, Charles and Addington Gaunt, who traverse the Canadian frontier in search of their missing brother. Potts has a son with a woman from a rival tribe and will risk death to see the boy — even if only at a distance. When he uncovers a dark secret about one of his travelling companions, he deals with it according to an old code. Oh, Bobby Bonaduce.


Minor-league hockey player for two decades, and an absent father and husband for just as long. Throughout The Good Body, Bonaduce struggles with two things: the ruin of his family life, and his multiple sclerosis, which slowly and assuredly robs him of the only thing he counts on — his body.

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A hugely fallible man — borderline OCD, hyper-logical, possibly with traces of autism — Keith Corcoran is an astronaut on the International Space Station whose family life dissolves while he's on board. He returns to gravity and an empty home. This is an elegantly written book that juggles many a grand idea. My favourite: that Keith attaches such importance to mundane objects such as his television and his sofa, while in the backdrop lies the immensity of outer space.

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My favourite, from my favourite author. Bob Lang is a cop in a small west-coast Australian town who struggles against a culture of corruption and violence among his colleagues. He takes to the bottle, and then he takes off, leaving his wife and son, Vic, behind. Hyde —has the clear advantage that no subject is off limits. To me that opens up possibilities and gives me room for more in-depth research, which is a huge part of my motivation. I find that the reader gets involved in the story in a different way and the good old bag of tricks —which e.

Alfred Hitchcock used, such as suspense where we know something about a person which is unknown to that person—are forceful elements which make people read faster.

And then there is the fact that thrillers are often more exciting to watch than crime movies. Who would not like to see a great thriller?

Well, I certainly would. Paperback —. Add to Cart. Also in A Department Q Novel. Also by Jussi Adler-Olsen. See all books by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Are all the stories based on real events, or do you make things up?

The Absent One

Do you think about your books as thrillers or police procedurals? Related Articles.

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