Thoughts on: Late for Tea at the Deer Palace by Tamara Chalabi

Late for Tea at the Deer Palace : The Lost Dreams of My Iraqi Family by Tamara Chalabi is a book which was hard to classify. Part history, part cultural, part fictional and non-fictional family saga and all about a bygone era.

The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— enter at the end of the post.

  • 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061240397

My rating for Late for Tea at the Deer Palace – 5

Great price on this book in paper format
through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account

More books by Tamara Chalabi

I believe that Late for Tea at the Deer Palace by Tamara Chalabi is the first book I read because I have heard of the author’s father. I recognize Ahmad Chalabi’s name from years of living in the Middle East as well as his temporary high profile during The Gulf War where he was accused of many things, including being a triple agent giving faulty intelligence. However, the story of Ahmad Chalabis rise and fall is the least interesting part in this fascinating book.

The first feeling that struck me while reading this book is jealousy. If ever I’d write a book about the history of my family, Late for Tea at the Deer Palace would be my guide. This beautifully written story mixes history and historical fiction (after all, Ms. Chalabi wasn’t privy to personal conversation between adults) and tells the rich story of the Chalabi family through an introduction to Iraqi history, Iraqi society and culture in a magnificent way.

What Ms. Chalabi did was take stories we all hear as kids, how are parents/grandparents or relatives did something amazing or funny and weaved it into a book while giving historical context. How our ancestors lived through times of trouble how they survived (or didn’t) and how the family name will live on.

This book should be required reading to any person who sits down to write his or hers life story for their family.

This book reminded me of:
The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssi­nen
Beirut 39 edited by Samuel Shi­mon

The book chronicles the journey of the prominent Iraqi Chalabi family from the echelons of power and business to having to flee from their country. After reaching the highest pinnacles of success in business and society, they were left with comparatively little when forced to immigrate.
Focusing on Bibi and Hadi, the author’s grandparents, Ms. Chalabi tells a rich tale with an uncanny ability to bring these stranges to life and make them, well, family.

Great price on this book in paper format
through the Man of la Book Affil­i­ate Account

More books by Tamara Chalabi


  • Give­away ends: Feb­ru­ary 29, 2012

  • US/Canada Ship­ping Addresses Only

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: nicnac63

TLC Book Tour for Late for Tea at the Deer Palace:
Tuesday, January 31st: BookNAround
Monday, February 6th: Books Like Breathing
Tuesday, February 7th: The Whimsical Cottage
Thursday, February 16th: Broken Teepee
Friday, February 17th: Boarding in My Forties
Monday, February 20th: Library of Clean Reads
Tuesday, February 21st: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, February 22nd: Man of La Book
Thursday, February 23rd: Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorm
Friday, February 24th: Book Club Classics!
Monday, February 27th: Bookstack
Tuesday, February 28th: Luxury Reading


Zohar – Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours

BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read Late for Tea at the Deer Palace? If so link up your review below:

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