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The Good Arabs


Available in paperback, EPUB, and PDF

by Eli Tareq El-Bechelany Lynch

Fall 2021

The Globe 100: The books we loved in 2021

2022 Arab American Book Award – Honorable Mention

2022 Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal Finalist

Swinging from post-explosion Beirut to a Parc-Extension balcony in summer, the verse and prose poems in The Good Arabs ground the reader in place, language, and the body. Peeling and rinsing radishes. Dancing as a pre-teen to Nancy Ajram. Being drenched in stares on the city bus. The collection is an interlocking and rich offering of the speaker’s communities, geographical surroundings both expansive and precise, and family both biological and chosen.

The Good Arabs gifts the reader with insight into cycles and repetition in ourselves and our broken nations. This genre-defying collection maps Arab and trans identity through the immensity of experience felt in one body, the sorrow of citizens let down by their countries, and the garbage crisis in Lebanon. Ultimately, it shows how we might love amid dismay, adore the pungent and the ugly, and exist in our multiplicity across spaces.

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Author: Eli Tareq El-Bechelany Lynch

ISBN: 781999058890

Cover art by Lee Lai

Cover design by LOKI

  • Printed in Quebec
  • Publication date: September 21, 2021

“Reading El Bechelany-Lynch, you are reminded to come with tenderness to the work of ordinary things so that something larger and more lasting can begin.”
—Canisia Lubrin, author of The Dyzgraphxst

“Everything about The Good Arabs is open-ended, curious, trying. El Bechelany-Lynch constructs a freeing poetic atmosphere, in which central concerns regarding spaces, family, tragedy, inheritance, and gender are swelling in the heat of each room.”
—Emily Mernin, Montreal Review of Books

“Eli Tareq El-Bechelany Lynch’s The Good Arabs is a map of what it means to be queer, to be trans, to be Arab: from the hope of revolution to the Lebanese garbage crisis, of whiteness and its weight, of public space and private space and of eating pumpkin seeds on a summer balcony when the power is out. Even at its heaviest, this is a collection that insists on joy and on embodiment, reminding us that resistance can look like shaking one’s hips to Nancy Ajram, too.”
—Zeyn Joukhadar, author of The Thirty Names of Night


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EPUB, PDF, Print


Available for purchase in Canada and the United States