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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Releases the Late Anthony Shadid’s Most Personal, Heartfelt Work: House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East

BOSTON -- On February 16, 2012, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Anthony Shadid died while on assignment in Syria. He was just weeks away from publishing his lyrical and powerful book House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East

In light of this tragedy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has moved the publication date of House of Stone to Feb. 28, from its originally scheduled release date of March 27. Anthony Shadid was scheduled to embark on a 20-city national tour; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will recruit friends and colleagues of Shadid’s to take his place for select media appearances and events, discussing and celebrating Shadid’s life and work.

"Anthony's death is a huge loss to the profession of journalism and the art of literature," said Bruce Nichols, Shadid's editor and Publisher for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade and Reference Publishers. "We are honored to publish Anthony's final work, and we're inspired by the heartfelt messages of support that fans and readers have submitted over the last several days."

House of Stone is about Shadid’s return to the small Lebanese town of Marjayoun to renovate a house built by his great-grandfather—his family’s ancestral home—after it was damaged by an Israeli rocket in 2006. In the course of repairing the house, Shadid braves crazed workmen, a volatile political situation and town gossip, but is able to piece together his own life decisions in the process. He uncovers the mysteries of his family’s history as well as the details of their flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America. He comes to discover a lost Middle East, a place of grace, dignity and tradition that existed before so much beauty was wiped out by carnage and turmoil. 

“Six pages into this book, I said to myself, if Anthony Shadid continues like this, this book will be a classic. And page by page, he did continue, and he wrote a honest-to-God, hands-down, undeniable and instant classic,” writes Dave Eggers, acclaimed author of Zeitoun and What Is the What. “This is a book about war, and terrible loss, and a troubled region, and his own tattered family history, written with levity and candor and lyricism that makes the book, improbably, both a compulsive read and one you don’t want to end.”

Anthony Shadid (1968–2012), author of Night Draws Near, was an unparalleled chronicler of the human stories behind the news. He gained attention and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, for his front-page reports in The Washington Post from Iraq. More recently, as Middle East correspondent for The New York Times, he covered the Arab Spring from Egypt to Libya (where he was held captive in March, 2011) to Syria. Shadid earned his second Pulitzer Prize in 2010. He will also receive a posthumous Polk Award for extraordinary valor.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade & Reference Division
With nearly two-centuries of award-winning history, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade and Reference Division continues to publish some of the most renowned novels, non-fiction, children’s books and reference works in hardcover, Mariner Books trade paperbacks and ebooks.  Its distinguished author list includes eight Nobel Prize winners, 47 Pulitzer Prize winners, 13 National Book Award winners, and more than 100 Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Silbert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O'Brien, and Umberto Eco, as well as The Best American series®, The American Heritage® family of dictionaries, The Gourmet Cookbook and other culinary classics, the Peterson Field Guides and books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Along with a celebrated lineup of children’s authors, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group is the publisher of some of the best-loved children's books and book characters including Curious George, The Little Prince and The Polar Express. For more information, visit