Award-winning memoir of growing up in Lebanon and travelling between the Arab and Western worlds.
Leave to Remain is Abbas El-Zein’s award-winning memoir of his youth in Lebanon and his years of travel between the Arab and Western worlds. It’s a clear-eyed and heartfelt examination of the forces that have shaped both his own life and the world in which he grew up.
First published in 2009, Leave to Remain won the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards — Community Relations Commission Award in 2010.
‘An important book … written in many tones – lyrical, sardonic, angry, heartbroken – but they are all in the key of Abbas El-Zein’s compassionate love for war-ravaged Beirut, the city of his birth, childhood and early manhood.’ — Raymond Gaita, philosopher and author of Romulus, My Father
‘The best memoirs illuminate our intellectual blind spots. They leave us wiser and often less certain of our inalienable truths. So it is with Leave to Remain.’ — Laurie Steed, Readings
Abbas El-Zein has written for numerous newspapers and literary journals including The New York Times, The Guardian, Meanjin, and HEAT Magazine. In addition to his memoir, Leave to Remain, he is the author of the short story collection The Secret Maker of the World (2014) and the novel Tell the Running Water which is also in the Untapped Collection.