BUILDING 46 四十六号楼 is the first in the two-novel Ghorba Ghost Story Series

Coming May 2022


‘Exquisite’ – Ai Weiwei, iconic dissident artist and author of 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows


‘Just splendid!’ – Jordy Rosenberg, author of critically acclaimed masterpiece Confessions of the Fox


‘Ferociously entertaining’ – Katie Austra Stelmanis, incendiary musician


‘Simply marvellous’ – Peter Kispert, award-winning author of I Know You Know Who I Am



Chicago Review of Books interview

Straits Times (Singapore) recommended reading list

The Arts Fuse review

Named a CrimeReads/ LitHub May best international fiction pick and named one of its a Queer Mysteries and Thrillers to Read All Year Long

BlogCritics review

LitHub / CrimeReads excerpt

Volume 1 Brooklyn Morning Bites shout out

Named a ‘Can’t Miss’ indie press speculative novel

Raseef22: interview [English]

Raseef22: interview [Arabic]

Caravel Magazine article


Sam Saadoun, a closeted Jewish Arab university student from Los Angeles, travels to Beijing to pursue a gay Hollywood romance and other feelings of kinship that are unusual in hyper-capitalist spaces like the United States. But when he arrives in Beijing, Sam finds himself flung into a transformational existential crisis. Shadowy characters ask him to interrogate not just the ever-changing world city around him and its governing ideology of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, but a wild and disturbing murder mystery nestled in the bowels of his host university’s most curious behemoth of a building.

BUILDING 46 draws us into the darkest, quietest spaces of the vast capital of an emerging superpower, at a moment before the 2008 Beijing Olympics when China is poised to rival U.S. hegemony. Through flights of fancy and suspense, and in tandem with a Queer coming out and of age story, it offers a political allegory of the interplay between so-called Eastern and Western superpowers, between humans and halls of power, and between light and dark. 

It is a love letter to Beijing. It is an expression of love for its intellectuals, its imams, its waitresses, its foreigners, its wanderers, its middle-aged moms, its shadow men, its DVD bootleggers, its migrant labourers. It is a love letter to a people very different to their mono-dimensional portrayals in foreign correspondence. 

From the author of the award-winning and critically acclaimed nonfiction book When We Were Arabs comes a stunning, poetic fiction debut that aims to decentralise and destabilise the status quos of the anglophone book industry to make room for a new and a fresh cannon of enthralling, delightful, and consciously political writing for an emerging and indignant generation of readers.