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The Year of the Revolutionary New Bread-making Machine

by Hassan Daoud

Beirut in 1966, a young man tells of his experiences, hopes and how he watches girls while working in his father's bakery.
The characters are strong, each has a big presence through the diary like chapters, detailing the writer's life during one summer.
The book is best read in small pieces, giving you time to digest and reflect on each memory before moving on to the next.

Extract

When the younger sister came by the bakery, she seemed more beautiful than the older sister ... but when the older sister came by, she seemed more beautiful that her younger sister. Muhammad would leave me with either of them, taking bread into the back room if we stayed in the front, or going out to the front if we went to the back room. 'Did you say anything to her?' he'd ask me, and I'd say I didn't but that she knew that I liked her because of the way I slowly prepared her order, and the way I counted the bread twice. The sisters were equally beautiful even though one was taller than the other.
Translated by Randa Jarrar

Parallels

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
Ports of Call by Amin Maalouf
 

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