Set over the course of 24 hours, Guapa follows Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, as he tries to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval.
Rasa spends his days translating for Western journalists and pining for the nights when he can sneak his lover, Taymour, into his room. One night Rasa's grandmother - the woman who raised him - catches them in bed together. The following day Rasa is consumed by the search for his best friend, Maj, a fiery activist and drag queen star of the underground bar Guapa, who has been arrested by the police.
Ashamed to go home and face his grandmother, and reeling from the potential loss of the three most important people in his life, Rasa roams the city's slums and prisons, the lavish weddings of the country's elite, and the bars where outcasts and intellectuals drink to a long-lost revolution. Each new encounter leads him closer to confronting his own identity as he revisits his childhood and probes the secrets that haunt his family.
As Rasa confronts the simultaneous collapse of political hope and his closest personal relationships, he is forced to discover the roots of his alienation and try to reemerge into a society that may never accept him.
©2016 Saleem Haddad (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
This novel made me laugh though the sense of humor is hidden behind layers or words! It made me cry as well. The last moments of raza and his mother together are heartbreaking. Haddad describes wonderfully the birth of feelings and how they might be translated into actions they way I thought only women think of. I loved the narrator's voice and the different accents. The novel is addictive and makes you wish for more.
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