The Ninety-Ninth Floor by Jana Fawaz Elhassan, Translated by Michelle Hartman
Shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2015. At times as cold and hard-edged as the skyscrapers in its backdrop, The Ninety-Ninth Floor follows the struggles and triumphs of Majed as he makes it in Manhattan at the turn of the century, after surviving the devastating 1982 massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp. A Palestinian born and raised in Lebanon, Majed creates a new life for himself in the glittery world of New York City's computer games industry. But with all his success, Majed's past continues to haunt him. His relationship with Hilda, a Lebanese woman from a right-wing Christian family, exposes his innermost fears, worries, and dark secrets. A multi-voiced narration, The Ninety-Ninth Floor conveys the brutality that war leaves on the people who experience it. It is also a love story that asks questions about the ability of passion to overcome hatred and difference.