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Rabih Alameddine: The Wrong End of the Telescope


This event is available on demand until 6.30pm AEDT Thursday 4 November 2021

‘To write about the human condition is political; it’s one of the greatest political acts. Art has never been apolitical.’

Rabih Alameddine is no stranger to making people uncomfortable. Across six critically-acclaimed novels, the Dos Passos Prize-winner has depicted sex with a nun, put Tom Cruise in dialogue with Eleanor Roosevelt, and personified Death as someone who wears a black beret and savours misery like fine wine. But while Alameddine favours the provocative and unconventional, these elements of his writing are never without purpose. His funny, beautiful and radical works shake us out of apathy and into empathy, forcing readers to confront stories and characters the world is often content to overlook.

Alameddine’s latest novel, The Wrong End of the Telescope, explores an Arab American trans woman’s experience among Syrian refugees on Lesbos island. At the Moria refugee camp in Greece, Mina is the closest she’s been to her family in Lebanon since she transitioned. Alienated from her family, Mina longs to accomplish something meaningful. This is a story about connection, dislocation and the limits and endurance of the human drive to ‘rescue’, all told through the sly wit of Alameddine and his heroine Mina. 

Join Alameddine for a digital conversation about his remarkable career and this deft and timely new novel, hosted by poet Omar Sakr.

The online bookseller for this event is Hill of Content

This event takes place online and is available on demand from Thursday 28 October 6.30pm AEDT, until Thursday 4 November 6.30pm AEDT.

To avoid disruption, please ensure you have finished watching by this time. The viewing period cannot be extended for those who did not view the event prior to this time.

After booking, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link that allows you unique access to the event for the available broadcast period.

Please ensure you keep this email with the unique link as it is required to view the event during the broadcast period.


Rabih Alameddine

Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels An Unnecessary Woman; I, the Divine; Koolaids; The Hakawati; and the story collection, The Perv. In 2019, he won the Dos Passos Prize. His latest novel, The Wrong End of the Telescope, was published in September 2021. ... Read more

Omar Sakr

Omar Sakr is the author of These Wild Houses (Cordite, 2017) and The Lost Arabs (UQP, 2019), which won the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry. His poems have been widely published and anthologised in places such as the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, Border Lines: Poe... Read more

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respect to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.