‍On writing ‘Façades of Lebanon’

Theodore Ell, winner of the 2021 Calibre Essay Prize, in conversation with Beejay Silcox
The ABR Podcast 28 July 2021

‍On writing ‘Façades of Lebanon’

Theodore Ell, winner of the 2021 Calibre Essay Prize, in conversation with Beejay Silcox
The ABR Podcast 28 July 2021

Theo Main


On 4 August 2020, Theodore Ell was living in Beirut, Lebanon, when an explosion erupted at the local port, killing more than 200 people and injuring more than 7,500. Ell and his wife, a diplomat, survived, but were badly shaken. At the encouragement of his close friend Beejay Silcox, Ell turned his experience into the essay ‘Façades of Lebanon’, a harrowing, intimate piece of reportage, and the deserving winner of the 2021 Calibre Essay Prize. In today’s episode, listen to Ell in conversation with Silcox about the inception of his prize-winning work, the balancing act of writing trauma and place, the historical complexities of Beirut, and more.


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