Boxes of Desire

Abbas Baydoun

Bassam, the narrator, tells the story of the assassination of his friend Aziz in Lebanon by an Islamic organisation and its aftermath. Aziz was a vocal critic of the organisation and a supporter of the Palestinian resistance, which the organisation opposes. Aziz was also having an affair with a married woman, Nada, and the organisation used this to poison the atmosphere against him in his village, Al-Midan. Since they control the village, it is easy to do this and in this way his assassination seems to have been undertaken with their consent. Bassam stands by Nada and their friendship develops into a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, Israel occupies Lebanon and is resisted by the organisation. In the ensuing turmoil, one by one, Aziz’s murderers are killed.  


Dar al-Ain


2021 Longlist