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Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Groundby Ahdaf Soueif
Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of the Booker Prize finalist The Map of Love–an incisive collection of essays on Arab identity, art, and politics that seeks to locate the mezzaterra, or common ground, in an increasingly globalized world.
The twenty-five years’ worth of criticism and commentary collected here have earned Ahdaf Soueif a place among our most prominent Arab intellectuals. Clear-eyed and passionate, and syndicated throughout the world, they are the direct result of Soueif’s own circumstances of being “like hundreds of thousands of others: people with an Arab or a Muslim background doing daily double-takes when faced with their reflection in a western mirror.” Whether an account of visiting Palestine and entering the Noble Sanctuary for the first time, an interpretation of women who choose to wear the veil, or her post—September 11 reflections, Soueif’s intelligent, fearless, deeply informed essays embody the modern search for identity and community.
Written between 1981 and the present, a collection of thought-provoking and passionate essays by the critically acclaimed author of The Map of Love reflects on Arab identity, politics, art, and events as she struggles to find a common ground within the global community. Original. 17,500 first printing.
Ahdaf Soueif was born in Cairo. She is the author of Aisha, Sandpiper, In the Eye of the Sun, and the bestselling novel The Map of Love, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999. She also has translated from the Arabic the award-winning memoir I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti.
Table of Contents
Political essays: Under the gun: a Palestinian journey — Our poor, our weak, our hungry — Opening the doors — Nile blues — America — Dear Mr. Blair — The worst story ever told — Staying alive — Contagious exchanges — The waiting game — This torture started at the top. Literature, culture and politics: — The circus comes to town — Many flights into Egypt — Passing through (William Golding, An Egyptian journal) — Goat face (Diana Athill, After a funeral) — In the beggar's cell (Nawal el-Sa'dawi, Memoirs from the women's prison) — Heroine of the operetta (Jehan Sadat, A woman of Egypt) — Doing something (Diane Johnson, Persian nights ; Deborah Moggach, Smile and other stories ; Jayne Anne Phillips, Fast lanes) — Lovers and terrorists (Oriana Fallaci, Inshallah) — Women: the battles that have not been won (Susan Faludi, Backlash: the undeclared war against women; Marilyn French, The war against women) — Intimately Egyptian (Amitav Ghosh, In an antique land) — Daughter of Persia (Sattareh Farman Farmaian, Daughter of Persia) — Muslim queens (Fatima Mernissi (The forgotten queens of Islam) — Islamic perplexities (Jan Goodwin, Price of honour) — A mistaken return to Tehran (Cherry Mosteshar, Unveiled) — Land of stone and thyme (A land of stone and thyme: an anthology of Palestinian short stories, edited by Nur and Abdel Wahab Elmessiri — The sands of timelessness (Susan Brind Morrow, The names of things) — Becoming Edward Said (Edward W. Said, Out of place: a memoir) — Golden child (Christine El Mahdi, Tutankhamen: the life and death of a boy king) — Al-Jazeera — The language of the veil — Cabool Cotillion (Philip Hensher, The Mulberry Empire) — It matters (Giles Kepel, Bad moon rising) — Rebel with a cause (Jean Genet, Prisoner of love) — Genoa: city of light and shadow — Edward Said, my friend — Address in memorial event for Edward Said — Palestinian writers.
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Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays