Building 46 (Book 1 of The Ghorba Ghost Story Series)


Massoud Hayoun



Praise for Building 46 (Book One)

  • ‘Building 46 is exquisite. A poetic and powerful piece of writing. Dark and mysterious, it has also returned to me the human warmth and strength of Beijing’. – Ai Weiwei, iconic dissident artist and author of 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows
  • Building 46 ‘fills me with nostalgia, asks big questions, and most importantly, is ferociously entertaining’. – Katie Austra Stelmanis, incendiary musician

  • ‘Just splendid… BUILDING 46 is the sexiest, smartest and most heartfelt social-realist ghost story you didn’t realise you were missing.  Hayoun has created a thrillingly contemporary snapshot of intersecting histories long in the making:  9/11 and its aftermath, China’s rise to global hegemon, and the practice and particulars of queer lives and longing alleviated of the abstract parameters of western queer theory.  The wells of Building 46 run deep’. – Jordy Rosenberg, author of the critically acclaimed masterpiece Confessions of the Fox

Building 46 draws its reader into the darkest, quietest spaces of China’s vast capital. Set just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, this queer coming-out-and-of-age story explores 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.

Additional information






Publication Date

May 2022