Sarah Houssayni was born in Beirut, Lebanon, she moved to upstate NY at the age of 25 to complete her training in Pediatrics. She lives in Wichita, Kansas where she raises two boys and is a clinical assistant professor at Kansas University. She has published Narratives in Family Medicine, Survive and Thrive, The Examined Life and Pulse Voices. She is a Writer’s Digest Award Winner for Personal Essay, this is her first book.
Fireworks: ($20, ISBN: 978-1-937536-92-3, Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-68114-121-3, LCCN: 2014954036, 6X9″, 180pp, February 27, 2015): tells the story of two women thrown into the Hezbollah Israel war of 2006. Angie is a thirty year old nurse from Kansas, in Beirut for the summer to get away from a broken heart. Zahra is a sixteen year old Shiite, on summer break and in love for the first time. Through terror, loss, grief, self-forgiveness and the workings of a local doctor, the two women move from despair to grace and to the long-awaited shore.
“…Houssayni deftly outlines the emotional layers and types of family pressures that exist in both Lebanon and the American Midwest, while her medical background adds touching sincerity to the hospital scenes. …Fireworks provides an accurate portrayal of civilian life during the Israeli bombing, and stresses the grief experienced on both sides of the ocean due to the loss of children to both natural and man-made causes.” —Al Jadid Magazine, Lynne Rogers, Vol. 19, No. 69, 2015
“Fireworks illuminates the complexity of religious codes and cultural boundaries. From Kansas City to Beirut, Houssayni’s characters navigate family tension, political unrest, and unexamined grief. This is a writer full of curiosity and courage.” –Christine Hemp, award winning poet and NPR host, www.christinehemp.com
“This story could not be more timely. The breadth of Houssayni’s empathetic imagination in Fireworks is impressive; the writing is sensitive to difference in the best sense.” –Charles Holdefer, author of The Contractor
“Sarah Houssayni’s Fireworks delivers a vivid and rewarding tale. From Kansas City to New York City, to Beirut and Lebanon, Houssayni’s debut encompasses and transcends the known world through characters that are fully fleshed and deftly wrought. This story gets to the heart of everything we are: socially, politically, psychologically and emotionally. Brilliantly plotted. I couldn’t put it down. –Juliet Patterson, author of The Truant Lover and Dirge