Kahlil Gibran's Little Book of Love

Hampton Roads. Oct. 2018. 224p. ed. by Neil Douglas-Klotz. ISBN 9781571748331. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781612834191. REL
Gibran (1883–1931) is most often remembered for The Prophet (1923), a collection of inspirational fables that has never been out of print. His cultural references are clearly Middle Eastern, with influences from Islam as well as Baha'i. However, Gibran is more than the sum of these small parts. Born in Lebanon as a Maronite Catholic, Gibran eventually immigrated to the States, finding success as a visual artist, poet, and writer (in Arabic as well as English) of both philosophical and theological books. Editor Douglas-Klotz writes that his autobiographical writing often "stretches credibility" and his own life should not be idealized. Nevertheless, this book attempts to expand the readability of Gibran through 90 selections from his entire oeuvre, focusing particularly upon his musings on love and relationships. Most entries are a page or two long and move far beyond the pithy and quotable into realms of deeper reflection.
VERDICT A compelling read for seekers and contemplators. The time line of Gibran's life as well as recommended biographies round out this accessible introduction.

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