For Leila, each minute after her death brings a sensuous memory: the taste of spiced goat stew, sacrificed by her father to celebrate the long-awaited birth of a son; the sight of bubbling vats of lemon and sugar which the women use to wax their legs while the men attend mosque; the scent of cardamom coffee that Leila shares with a handsome student in the brothel where she works. Each memory, too, recalls the friends she made at each key moment in her life - friends who are now desperately trying to find her. . .
Siberia is a vast and ancient territory, a mystery to the world outside its borders. Rick Wirick and his wife have gone to Siberia to adopt a baby girl. Rather than produce a straightforward account of this journey, so profound and personal in itself, Wirick has chosen instead to absorb Siberia, to immerse himself in its history, legends, social reality and natural splendour in order to evoke for his new daughter the grandeur of her birthplace. In one hundred interlocking vignettes, Wirick has created a sophisticated and passionate vision. Personal in conception, unique in structure, "One Hundred Siberian Postcards" is an inspiring and unusual introduction to a very far-away land.
It is summer in Istanbul and the body of a young man is discovered in a local lake. The air is oppressive as Behiye prepares to enter one of Turkey?s most prestigious universities. Angry, overweight, embarrassed by her parents and contemptuous of her Nazi older brother ? Behiye longs for some salvation from her teenage despair. In the week before she starts university she is introduced to Handan ? a beautiful, gentle girl who will change Behiye?s life forever. Immediately drawn to one another, the two girls embark upon an intense, exclusive relationship even though they are from completely different backgrounds, with different dreams and ambitions. As their friendship spirals out of control, Behiye realises the impossibility of their being able to cross the cultural divide.
In this finely observed novel, five young Lebanese women navigate their professional and social lives in a city interrupted by random explosions. It is not a war zone, but there is no peace either; Beirut stands at the edge of both. These women, much like their country, have been shaped by the events of a long civil war, their childhood spent in shelters, their adolescence in an unrecognizable city under rapid reconstruction. And here they are now, negotiating the details of their adult lives, fighting to protect their identities, voices, and relationships in a society constantly under questioning.
Talk of politics and gossip by the young and old animate the coffee shops. Heated debates and power dynamics unfold in bars and on the streets. Mandour’s funny and defiant style invites an intimacy, giving readers a glimpse into the absurdities and injustices of everyday life in Lebanon. With empathy and a deep honesty, Mandour narrates the lives of these women who struggle to create their own destiny while at the same time coming to terms with the identity of their Mediterranean city.
Hassan makes a living in his native Marrakesh as a comic writer and performer, through his satirical sketches critical of Morocco's rulers. Yet when he is suddenly conscripted into a losing war in the Sahara, and drafted to a far-flung desert outpost, it seems that all is lost. Could his estranged father, close to power as the king's private jester, have something to do with his sudden removal from the city? And will he ever see his beloved wife Zinab again? With flowing prose and black humor, Youssef Fadel subtly tells the story of 1980s Morocco.
Award-winning Egyptian children's author and illustrator Walid Taher targets a wider audience with A Bit of Air. Inspired by the long tradition of Egyptian colloquial poetry and its relation to social and political movements in Egypt, Taher creates a unique blend of visual art, poetry, and architecture. These darkly humorous poems and their accompanying images are snapshots of a state of mind and a space of fantasy that convey the absurd, the comical, the profound, and the idiosyncratic. This illustrated, bilingual edition comes at a time of political and literary upheaval. An unprecedented number of Arab authors are producing new and noteworthy works by appropriating the language of blogs, poetry, comic strips, and film, to name a few. This mixing of media gives shape to new experiences emerging from and redefining a rapidly changing social and political reality. A new generation is ushering in a new language, a new literature, and a new Arab world.
The small boy was trying to climb over the wall surrounding the labyrinth when he heard the elderly people back home shouting at him to go back to bed. His grip on the wall loosened and he fell, awaking from his dream to find himself now seventy years older, seated as usual in his armchair watching people around him involved in busy discussions. His problem of not hearing well sometimes placed him in 'a cage without bars' whenever he happened to be in a big group. The dream of the labyrinth took on different aspects: he waded through multiple environments crowded with people who, coping with different problems themselves, faced the same isolation that left them all politely ignored by others. Coming out of the labyrinth, he found that the circumstances of his dream had evaporated. All the same, the beauty in life does not evaporate ...