Arsonists’ City


From the award-winning author of Salt Houses, a rich family story, a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home.

by Hala Alyan

The Nasr family—a Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three American children—is spread across the globe. Still, they’ve always had their ancestral home in Beirut. But following his father’s recent death, Idris, the family’s new patriarch, has decided to sell. They convene in Beirut, united against Idris in a fight for the house. They all have secrets—lost loves, bitter jealousies, abandoned passions, deep-set shame—that distance has helped smother. But in a city smoldering with the legacy of war, the changing landscape of refugees, religious tension, and political protest, their secrets ignite, imperiling the fragile ties that hold this family together.

Teeming with wisdom, warmth, and characters born of remarkable human insight, award-winning author Hala Alyan shows us again that “fiction is often the best filter for the real world around us” (NPR).

Paperback | 464 pages | Harper Collins| 2022