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The Secret Maker of the World

A powerful collection of fiction that lingers long after the last word

Available. Dispatched 2-3 business days

A powerful collection of fiction that lingers long after the last word

A boatman fishes bodies from the Yellow River searching for the one he can claim. A construction worker speeds through the Indonesian jungle to board his plane on time. Playing a terrifying game of cat and mouse, an isolated sniper in Beirut observes the city from his rooftop perch.

With profound insight El-Zein’s stories cross continents and time zones, effortlessly melding themes of loss and longing with larger questions of power, politics, faith and love. His characters, as provocative as they are diverse, confront issues of violence, justice and redemption with varying degrees of rage, suspense, satire and wit.

With a sharp eye for the ridiculous, El-Zein’s collection cleverly illuminates stereotypes and contemplates global truths. These are worldly stories in the best sense, and wise ones.

Abbas El-Zein

Abbas El-Zein

Abbas El-Zein was born and raised in Beirut. He was twelve years old when the civil war broke out in 1975. He lived in Beirut through most of the war and, like many Lebanese of his generation, experienced shelling, car bombs, shootings and displacement. Although he came from a family of Shia religious scholars, he attended a French secular school and studied civil engineering at the American University of Beirut. He migrated to Australia in 1996. Abbas has written essays and short stories about war, identity and displacement for The New York Times, The Age, Meanjin, HEAT and Australian Book Review. His first novel, Tell the Running Water (Sceptre, 2001), is set in Beirut and tells the intersecting stories of two young men and a woman who are engaged in the war, and coming to terms with the violence around them. He lives in Sydney with his wife and their two sons and lectures in environmental engineering at the University of Sydney.