Kahlil Gibran: Beyond Borders

Gibran, Jean & . Interlink. Aug. 2016. 464p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781566560856. $50; pap. ISBN 9781566560931. $25. LIT
Jean Gibran (Love Made Visible) and artist Kahlil G. Gibran, godson of Kahlil Gibran, work as a husband-and-wife team, in collaboration with the Interlink Gibran Project, to continue their biographical exploration of the late poet. The book is chronologically organized from Gibran's birth in Ottoman Syria to his early death at the age of 48 in 1931. It reveals many of the persons who shared time with the author/artist during his short life writing, designing book covers, and producing multiple forms of visual art. For instance, the photographer and publisher Fred Holland Day, whose involvement in Gibran's early years assisted him onto the path that would be his life. But Gibran, during his whole life, also felt split between his adopted home of Boston, MA, and his birthplace in the Middle East. The authors make a point to draw attention to his cross-national identity, the details that connected him to his birthplace as well as to the Arabic language. Generally, they do well—even if a tad myopic. On the flip side, that zoom lens on Gibran's life positively reflects the authors' use of many special archives to produce this narrative.
VERDICT Recommended for readers who have a soft spot for granular, upbeat literary narratives of writers.

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