Salt Houses

Salt Houses

Hala Alyan

Pub: May 2, 2017

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past, between displacement and home

Salt Houses begins with Alia, the spirited, willful matriarch who marries Atef in politically tense Nablus, Palestine in the early 60s. Following the Six-Day War of 1967, Alia moves to Kuwait, where she reluctantly builds a life with Atef and their three children Riham, Karam, and Souad. Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 scatters the family all over the world: Riham and her parents settle in Amman, Karam moves to Boston, and Souad heads to Paris to begin school. The following excerpt is from Souad’s first section in the book. We see her navigating her new life in Paris.

Chautauqua Prize shortlist