—Recommended by Paul
From National Book Award finalist Rabih Alameddine, The Angel of History follows Yemeni-born Jacob as he revisits his life over the course of one night in the waiting room of a psych clinic. We see his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. All the while, Jacob is taunted mercilessly by the presence of alluring Satan, who urges remember his painful past and dour Death who urges him to forget and give up. Set in Cairo and Beirut; Sana'a, Stockholm, and San Francisco; this is a profound and winning story of the war between memory and oblivion and a spectacular portrait of a man and an era of deep political and social upheaval.