Lebanon may not receive the most news coverage, but this book will make you think it should. It was written by an American during the year 2009-2010, when his wife took a job working for an NGO near the border with Israel. Since his wife had the job, and his son went to school, the American would take lengthy walks daily through the nearby city of Tyr, observing and experiencing the locals, the expatriot international community, Hizbullah, historic sites, and the Mediterranean Sea in ways he had never encountered before.
His memoir, A Year in Tyr, is the result. It is a fascinating yet troubling record of one American’s sojourn from the good life, to anxiety over anti-American bias, to dread of war with Israel, which seems to loom as a very real possibility at all times among those who live in southern Lebanon. Told with warmth and humor at times and very tough talk at others, A Year in Tyr is sure to get people talking about something Margaret Atwood raised when she said, “There is just one race -- the human race -- and we are all members of it.” This book is a wake-up call on that very subject.
This is the second release by the author, Eric Jonas Swensson. His first book was Kinderbeten, an historical work. He had planned to use the year in Tyr to do more historical research in his field, but he found the subject of Lebanon and its present-day politics right in his face and very compelling.. So will you.