Patricia Storace

Patricia Storace, the author of Dinner with Persephone (Pantheon), a travel memoir about Greece, and Sugar Cane (Hyperion), a children’s book, is at work on a novel, The Book of Heaven.

Recent Articles

Rebuilding the World

Anthony Shadid's final book on the remaking of a house in Lebanon

Houghton Mifflin
House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East By Anthony Shadid, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 336 pages, $26.00 T he story of making a house is one of the great and ancient archetypes of literature. You could say that it is a story as old as writing itself, since the image of a house, or bayt, underlies the B in the alphabet that the Phoenicians, inhabitants of what we now call Lebanon, invented. The word “bayt” also means family, or clan. The title of journalist Anthony Shadid’s memoir resonates with both meanings. An account of rebuilding an ancestral bayt in southern Lebanon, it is a diary of architectural adventure, a personal record of family history, a subtle examination of intricate regional politics, and an Odyssean journey home. Until a few weeks ago, House of Stone had a happy ending—a fulfillment, the house’s past, present, and future woven together in the form of traditional architecture. The new olive tree the author had planted was flourishing alongside...