Middle-Eastern TV Star Hopes To Promote #MeToo Movement In Arabic Countries With New Book
After positive results from early promotion in the US and UK including various nominations, author Nataly Restokian is looking forward to the hometown launch of her first novel, Masks. Restokian, the granddaughter of Armenian genocide survivors, was born and raised in Beirut against the backdrop of civil war. She spent two decades as a celebrated television journalist, actor, and live talk show and radio host in Lebanese and Arabic societies, where she was one of the most recognizable women in the media. But at what cost? Against all odds, Restokian rose to the top before giving it all up and moving to Montreal for a chance at genuine happiness and personal truth. Please join her for the launch of her first novel, Masks, on Tuesday, September 10, for readings, a Q&A and refreshments.
Masks is a dark, intriguing, tastefully erotic tale of one woman's fame, betrayal, and resilience. Anna's narrative is inspired by real-life events and people in Restokian's life; with names changed for safety reasons. This candid journey, played out in a part of the world known for marginalizing women, navigates readers through the persistent struggles and hidden traps within the glamorous circles of fame and fortune. Here, a girl is only worth as much as her virginity; women dare not ask for a divorce; social, religious, and sexual taboos force women to bury their strength and passion; and the fear of retribution keeps them locked in a cage that is seldom gilded. Restokian bravely lets us in, throwing off and laying bare the obligatory societal masks; opening a rare window into her world. Readers are also immersed in the history and customs of these exotic lands.
In Masks, we follow Anna as her fame and loveless marriage bind her ever more tightly to society's expectations. Combatting her husband's infidelities with her own stream of prominent lovers, each encounter only underscores her despair. A passion-filled night with a handsome Canadian awakens emotions inside her, and suddenly, she is ready to risk everything she has achieved for a stranger who lives oceans away. Will Middle Eastern society's unrelenting grip prove too powerful?
Restokian is the first female public figure from Lebanon and the Arab world daring enough to break her cultural chains and publish an English novel in the West, exposing the reality of the treatment of women, especially celebrities in the entertainment industry. "People have no idea what's going on over there for successful women, how much they have to give up," she said.
The events in Masks might sound ripped from recent headlines, but in the Arab world there is no fighting back, no #MeToo Movement. Restokian, who is also a multilingual Toastmaster and motivational speaker, wants to change that, "I would like to donate my time and share my story, speaking to young girls and women through various organizations, schools, and charity events, and hopefully inspire them. Life's circumstances can push us down, it's important to offer people courage and optimism to find the determination to rise up again and keep walking," she said. The characters in Restokian's story are the voices of so many who dare not speak up. Disturbing moments in Masks include sexual harassment, sexual assault and career-destroying threats. Adds Restokian, "In terms of open-mindedness, Lebanon is one of the most progressive regions in the Middle East, but they still have a significant way to go regarding women's rights and equality."
The audiobook for Masks will be released in December exclusively by Amazon ACX and available on Audible.com, Amazon, and iTunes. Restokian is working on her second novel and hopes to have Masks adapted into a television series or film.
What people are saying about Masks:
Foreword Reviews 2018 INDIES Book of the Year award, finalist- Multicultural (Adult Fiction)www.goodreads.com/book/show/39805939-masks
Book launch for Masks by Nataly Restokian
With readings, Q&A and refreshments
Tuesday, September, 10, 7-9pm
DIB Design, 1215 Curé-Labelle Boulevard, Laval, H7V 2V8