Both Banks of Life (Forty Short Stories)

This work reveals my passion for short stories—stories that are more autobiographical than fictional.  I have plucked these stories out of my memory because they pecked at me like a flock of caged birds, wanting release.  I have camouflaged them to protect certain characters, embellished them to make them interesting, and set them free into the world where they will have to fend for themselves in order to survive.

They span about sixty years of my life and tell tales about epochs that made indelible imprints on my inner being, and helped reshape my character.  They have occurred on both banks of my life’s river, the Eastern Bank, representing Lebanon, and the Western Bank, representing the United States.  Life forward flows, but the banks remain.  That is why I called this book, Both Bank Of Life.

Being bicultural is tantamount to having two souls in one body.  My Eastern and my Western souls have finally learned to cohabitate peacefully, but achieving that amicable balance took many soul-searching years.  In some stories, one can smell the East, in others, the West, but in most of them, both East and West vie by wafting their earthen aromas.

Telling all forty of stories gave me great peace, the unique peace that arises from catharsis of the soul at having finished its life’s work and liberated its imprisoned messengers of good will.

Because I wrote them intermittently, not chronologically, over a ten-year span between 2006 and 2016, reappearances of certain quotations and descriptions, though unavoidable, should not diminish the value of the imbedded messages.

A revised edition is now available in digital and paperback formats on Amazon.com

 

Table Of Contents

1. Amiss

2. The Letter

3. The Red Spell

4. Seven Years

5. Amioun’s Colorful Thief

6. Easter In Naxos

7. Fatherland and Miss Fatima Hussein

8. The Nun’s Tale

9. Two Miracles

10. Hasseen The Savior

11. James Dean’s Blue Jeans

12. The Municipal Elections

13. Shooing Hallucinations

14. Abdominal Fire

15. Life From Under The Knife

16. Professor Ley How

17. The Wedding

18. Crisis

19. Frédéric Chopin’s Four Ballades

20. The Eye Of The Needle

21. Good Morning Professor Columbam

22. Batman Kindness

23. Pilot Error

24. Arthur VanChef

25. Chopin In Beirut

26. Forbidden Fire

27. Valediction

28. Odysseus

29. Sudaa

30. Three Arabian Tales

31. The Doctor Harrison

32. A Dying Man Tells

33. Search Behind The Disease

34. An Evening With Beethoven

35. The Clandestine Stone

36. The Holy Quakes Of Malula

37. The Curly Black Hair

38. Murder In The OR

39. The Quack Dr. Blackpill

40. Love’s River