Author of four books of poetry, Alyan's debut novel follows three generations of a Palestinian family from the Six-Day War of 1967 to 1990 Kuwait to Beirut, Paris, and Boston. The story opens with Alia's wedding, when Alia's mother, Salma, reads her future in the coffee grounds left in the bottom of her cup and sees both turmoil and travel. While she keeps her premonitions secret, they nevertheless come true as the family is uprooted by war and loss. A lyrical tale of assimilation and the importance of family.
Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book AwardNamed a Best Book of the Year by NPR * Nylon * Kirkus Reviews * Bustle * BookPage
“Moving and beautifully written.” — Entertainment Weekly
On the eve of her daughter Alia’s wedding, Salma reads the girl’s future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967.
Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses follows three generations of a Palestinian family and asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can’t go home again.
“[Alyan is] a master.” — Los Angeles Review of Books
“Beautiful . . . An example of how fiction is often the best filter for the real world around us.” — NPR
“Gorgeous and sprawling . . . Heart-wrenching, lyrical and timely.” — Dallas Morning News
“[Salt Houses] illustrate[s] the inherited longing and sense of dislocation passed like a baton from mother to daughter.” — New York Times Book Review