The Kahlil Gibran Collective

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Al-Ajnihah al-Mutakassirah [Broken Wings], New York: Mir'at al-Gharb, 1912 [owned by Mary Elizabeth Haskell; inscribed by the Author]. In 1912 Gibran published al-Ajniha al-mutakassira, which he seems to have written several years earlier. The novella is his only attempt at a sustained narrative. When he was eighteen, the narrator fell in love in Beirut with Salma Karama. Forced by her father to marry an archbishop’s nephew, Salma was able to meet her lover occasionally until they were discovered together. Salma was then confined to her home and eventually died in childbirth. Reviews in the Arabic press were strongly positive, though there were some reservations about the character of Salma and Gibran’s views on the position of Arab women. The book led to a correspondence with the Syrian writer May Ziyada that evolved into an epistolary love affair.

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