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Kisses from a Distance

Length: 382 pages5 hours


Kisses From A Distance was inspired by the discovery, among the author’s mother’s personal effects after her death in 1992, of 200 or so letters from family and friends in Lebanon. The letters dated back to 1925 and afforded the author a glimpse into the thoughts and travails that his parents’ families and friends experienced over the years. The discovery reawakened long dormant stories he had heard in his youth and provided the spark that ignited the author’s eight-year journey to examine his heritage and discover the truth of those stories.

The tale begins in 1885 at a remote mountain convent where that author’s grandmother was abducted and given into a marriage that she neither anticipated nor desired. The reader is taken on a journey that traces the events resulting from that fateful incident and the consequences of peace, war, famine, and pestilence on his families and the Lebanese population in general.

Here is what Dr Samuel Hazo, Professor Emiritus, Duquesne University, had to say:

Change the name of the country of origin, or the date, or the variety of hardships encountered en route or the societal prejudices that were waiting in America, and you have what every immigrant of those years would instantly recognize. Regardless, Ellis has created not an exercise in nostalgia but a serious and disciplined historical study. This book has something for all whose personal or family history includes immigration. And, since we are a nation of immigrants, this includes all of us.

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