We Walked On (Paperback)

We Walked On By Thérèse Soukar Chehade Cover Image
Not Yet Published


Set during the early years of Lebanon's fifteen-year civil war, We Walked On immerses readers in the landscape of war, weaving political unrest into everyday life. With Hisham, a thirty-year-old Arabic teacher, and Rita, his fourteen-year-old student, Chehade has created two richly drawn characters who counter violence with the redemptive power of books and human connection and find authentic hope in untenable circumstances. We Walked On is a timely novel that examines the power of war to pervert our moral sense and asks if peace is ever possible in an unjust world.

About the Author

Thé rè se Soukar Chehade grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, and moved to the United States in 1983. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her first novel, Loom, was published in 2010 by Syracuse University Press and won the 2011 Arab American Award for fiction. She lives in Granby, MA, and teaches English to multilingual language learners at a nearby public school.

Praise For…

"The writing is beautiful, the characters draw us in, the political detail is interesting and works with the plot rather than functioning as a distraction, and the buildup of pacing and tension is done so assuredly. Chehade masterfully creates the sense of living with a civil war that uses a city as its battleground — how the violence becomes both terrifying and everyday, how life stops and starts, how enmities build, how the ordinary stuff of relationships and jobs continues but with everything coloured by war." —Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire, winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018

"WE WALKED ON is a treasure, a riveting testament, a powerful paean to longing and celebrating the tiny details and tendrils of life amidst the rubble and despair of war in Lebanon. Thérèse Soukar Chehade has crafted a mesmerizing tale of family, love, fear, and genuine hope despite the fever of 'animal terror,' where a brief snowfall invites dancing in the street, the vanished return in dreams, and books offer refuge from total annihilation. WE WALKED ON is a novel of rare talent and exquisite intimacy—a crucial, lyrical exploration of survival." —Margot Douaihy, author of Scorched Grace, a New York Times Review of Books Editors' Choice

"With tremulously gorgeous prose and an unsparing yet compassionate gaze,Thérèse Soukar Chehade draws us deep into a dazzling world lost to war. The Beirut of these pages feels both shockingly immediate and achingly distant, and its denizens vibrate with aliveness. I sunk into this intricate novel, into its sumptuous pleasures and deep sorrows, and I was changed by it." —Debra Jo Immergut, author of You Again and The Captives

"A moving book that details, with tenderness and intimacy, the lives fractured and uprooted by the Lebanese Civil War. Writing intelligently, Thérèse Soukar Chehade maps the "siphoning of the soul" caused by religious and class divides fomented by colonial powers—divides that remain urgently relevant today—and the toll of these ruptures on those who survive. The story has a slow-burn quality that pulls the reader deep into the world of the boisterous, diverse communities of Beirut who grow and separate together, focusing especially on Rita, a Convent student who, even in her youth, begins to yearn for the rebellious, fun-loving teenager that she once was, and Hisham, a teacher devoted to his students and family, who writes in stealth about the war. Perhaps most of all, We Walked On is an ode to those who anchor us in kindness in times of grief and irrecoverable loss: teachers, mentors, friends, and the writers that Hisham reignites in the consciousness of the living, who must now tell their own stories, true and fierce." —Uzma Aslan Khan, author of The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, New York Times' pick for "Books for Summer 2022" and "Best Historical Fiction 2022," and Thinner Than Skin, winner of the French Embassy Prize for Best Fiction at the Karachi Literature Festival 2014

"'The war engulfs and dwarfs everything,' writes Thérèse Chehade in We Walk On, her novel of two families disrupted by the Lebanese Civil War. In the same novel we read, 'War cannot break the dance of life.' These are the antipodal themes that We Walked On dramatizes so vividly. Essentially a war story, We Walk On forsakes sensational war story tropes in behalf of something more subtle: the quality of life ceaselessly moving forward even as bombs fall and bullets fly. Elsewhere in Chehade's novel we read, 'War was many things: animal terror, loss of control, and obsessive attention to daily details.' We Walk On illustrates, with singular authenticity, how the first two are made endurable by the third." —Peter Selgin, author of Duplicity and The Inventors

"With an exceptional pen, Thérèse Soukar Chehade draws a tranquil, richly layered world that is destroyed by war. Chehade's heart-rending, beautiful prose propels the reader through the spectrum of emotion with unforgettable power
Product Details
ISBN: 9781646035205
ISBN-10: 1646035208
Publisher: Regal House Publishing
Publication Date: September 24th, 2024
Pages: 262
Language: English