The Story of Zahra by Hanan al-Shaykh

By Hanan al-Shaykh

With greater than 21,000 copies in print of  Women Of Sand And Myrrh, and extra than  15,000 copies of the tale Of  Zahra, Hanan al-Shaykh is the simplest identified and most  admired girl author of the Arab global. The paperback  publication of Zahra will bring  this passionate and brave novel to a much  larger crew of readers. Its haunting tale of a  young Lebanese lady who makes an attempt to stem the  violence in Beirut via beginning a sexual liaison with a  sniper has "lifted the nook of a dark  curtain" (Sunday Telegraph )  from a global that fascinates us  all.

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I did this secretly, since I feared the PPS comrades might expel me if they knew. Eventually I mentioned the secret of my attending the Socialist Party gatherings to Hassan, and he, in turn, brought it up at a meeting, questioning whether such an act could be at all beneficial. I sat there, expecting to be thrown out, sweating with anxiety, but found they never went beyond a threat of expulsion. At that point they were too convinced of my loyalty and enthusiasm, but Hassan, as usual, took me aside to lecture me on how he had introduced me into the party and how I should therefore watch every step and word.

Once again, there was my mother's pale round face, a dimple on her chin, her eyes blue, her hair fair. There were her plump hands, her blue silk dress, the black veil which masked her features. '' At times I saw myself kicking at the vines with my shoes until the grapes fell as her lover ran, holding me up in his arms and squeezing me and staring at the bruises on my thigh. I saw her in her full house-dress, sitting on the floor, her head in his arms. I watched her show photographs to her friend, for whom I never cared.

Another grew more outspoken still, and spat, swearing and shoving the dish aside: "I spit on the human being. '' My mother would lean on a neighbor to visit the bathroom. Then she would return to bed, pale, yet with happiness almost jumping from her glistening eyes. She didn't want to have children by my father. She would mention the word "divorce" every time we visited grandfather in his tobacco booth, and always he would reproach her, ''For repentance, Fatme. Acknowledge God. " The feelings of disgust and fear that I felt for my uncle made me wary about everything and constantly watching to avoid any embarrassing situation.

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