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Lulu in Marrakech

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Lulu in Marrakech Cover

ISBN13: 9780525950370
ISBN10: 0525950370
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"Johnson lays out the life of the privileged foreigners and the watchful Moroccans in a fluent, wry, sometimes very funny style in the grand tradition of Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, who peopled their novels with laconic British colonials savoring the heat and hedonism of the British Empire." Brigitte Week, Washington Post Book World (read the entire Book World review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The two-time Pulitzer Prize– and three-time National Book Award–nominated author of the bestseller Le Divorce returns with a mesmerizing novel of double standards and double agents.

Lulu Sawyer, the heroine of Diane Johnso‛s captivating new novel, arrives in Marrakech, Morocco, hoping to rekindle her romance with a worldly Englishman, Ian Drumm. I‛s the perfect cover for her assignment with the American CIA: tracing the flow of money from well-heeled donors to radical Islamic groups. While spending her days poolside among Europeans, in villas staffed by local maids in abayas, and her nights at lively dinner parties, Lulu observes the fragile coexistence of two cultures which, if not yet clashing, have begun to show signs of fracture. Beneath the surface of this polite expatriate community lies a more sinister world laced not only with double standards, but with double agents.

As she navigates the complex interface of Islam and the West, Lulu stumbles into unforeseen intrigues: A young Muslim girl, Suma, is hiding from a brother intent on an honor killing; and a beautiful Saudi woman, Gazi, who is vying for Ia‛s love, leaves her husband in a desperate bid to escape her repressive society. The more Lulu immerses herself in the workings of Marrakech, the more questions emerge; and when bombs explode, the danger is palpable.

Lul‛s mission ultimately has tragic consequences, but along the way readers will fall in love with this endearing young woman as she improvises her way through the souk, her love life, and her profession. As in her previous novels, Diane Johnson weaves a dazzling tale in the great tradition of works about naive Americans abroad and the laws of unintended consequence, with a new, fascinating assortment of characters, as well as witty, trenchant observations on the manners and morals of a complicated moment in history.

Review:

"Fans of Johnson's NBA finalist Le Divorce will know what to expect: a fish-out-of-water story about a clash of cultures. Still, the tone and scope of this agreeable if quiet story owes more to the author's early work — Persian Nights, in particular — than the better-known ones about Franco-American culture clashes. Like that 1987 book, this one has more than a soupon of politics thrown into its cultural comedy of manners. Lulu Sawyer is a CIA agent who arrives in Morocco, both to rekindle her romance with worldly English boyfriend Ian and to trace the flow of Western money to radical Islamic groups. She meets with characters both Western and Eastern, which allows for some typically Johnsonian observations ('[Honor killing is] not so common among Algerians.... It's usually the Turks,' opines one character). The book works best in small moments and in scenes involving the supporting characters, but the central plot — about Lulu and Ian's relationship — never quite catches fire, and Lulu-as-CIA-agent seems tired and unnecessary. Most fans will wade through the overdetermined plot to get to the sly asides and the astute observation that are and always have been Johnson's forte." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Diane Johnson is a true woman of letters. She has written more than a dozen books, all respectfully reviewed, and won major honors. While building a reputation as a mistress of elegant, intricate fiction, she has for decades written perceptive and sometimes acerbic critical essays for the New York Review of Books, as well as the screenplay for "The Shining," the horrific Stanley Kubrick movie based... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

The two-time Pulitzer Prize- and three-time National Book Award-nominated author of the bestseller "Le Divorce" returns with a mesmerizing novel of double standards and double agents.

Synopsis:

The two-time Pulitzer Prize and three-time National Book Award-nominated author of Le Divorce returns with a mesmerizing novel of double standards and double agents

In Lulu in Marrakech, Diane Johnson brilliantly exposes the manners and morals of the cultural collision between Islam and the West. Lulu Sawyer arrives in Marrakech, Morocco, hoping to rekindle her romance with a worldly Englishman, Ian Drumm. It?s the perfect cover for her assignment for the CIA?tracing the flow of money from well-heeled donors to radical Islamic groups. While spending her days poolside among Europeans in villas staffed by maids in abayas, and her nights at lively dinner parties, Lulu observes the fragile and tense coexistence of two cultures. But beneath the surface of this polite expatriate community lies a sinister world laced not only with double standards, but double agents.

As in her previous novels, Diane Johnson weaves a dazzling tale in the great tradition of works about naïve Americans abroad, with a fascinating new assortment of characters as well as witty and timely observations on the political and sexual complexities between Islamic and Western culture.

About the Author

Diane Johnson is the bestselling author of fourteen previous books, including Le Divorce, Le Mariage, and ‛Affaire. She is a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a three-time finalist for the National Book Award.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

dschondelmeyer, October 1, 2008 (view all comments by dschondelmeyer)
I’m an American who has lived in Marrakech for nearly 30 years and after reading this book, I’m wondering what Marrakech the author is talking about? She passes off a mish-mash of foods, traditions, names and clothing from other parts of the Islamic world that have nothing to do with Morocco. There are so many factual errors—there’s no Moroccan dish called poulet au poivres rouges; no raisins in a pigeon pastilla, and no goats in the trees on the Casablanca road, to name a few—that I couldn’t help wondering if the author was going to set her spy story in Marrakech, why on earth didn’t she take the trouble to get the details right?

There are also so many inaccuracies in her descriptions of the relations between Muslims and Christians that it would seem to add even more fuel to the fire of misunderstandings that already exist between us and the Islamic world. If you want to get an authentic look at life in Marrakech as seen by a Western woman, read another book: “Zohra’s Ladder & other Moroccan Tales.”
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780525950370
Author:
Johnson, Diane
Publisher:
Dutton Adult
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Contemporary Women
Subject:
General
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Women travelers
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20081007
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.24x6.30x1.13 in. 1.12 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Lulu in Marrakech Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525950370 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Fans of Johnson's NBA finalist Le Divorce will know what to expect: a fish-out-of-water story about a clash of cultures. Still, the tone and scope of this agreeable if quiet story owes more to the author's early work — Persian Nights, in particular — than the better-known ones about Franco-American culture clashes. Like that 1987 book, this one has more than a soupon of politics thrown into its cultural comedy of manners. Lulu Sawyer is a CIA agent who arrives in Morocco, both to rekindle her romance with worldly English boyfriend Ian and to trace the flow of Western money to radical Islamic groups. She meets with characters both Western and Eastern, which allows for some typically Johnsonian observations ('[Honor killing is] not so common among Algerians.... It's usually the Turks,' opines one character). The book works best in small moments and in scenes involving the supporting characters, but the central plot — about Lulu and Ian's relationship — never quite catches fire, and Lulu-as-CIA-agent seems tired and unnecessary. Most fans will wade through the overdetermined plot to get to the sly asides and the astute observation that are and always have been Johnson's forte." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Johnson lays out the life of the privileged foreigners and the watchful Moroccans in a fluent, wry, sometimes very funny style in the grand tradition of Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh, who peopled their novels with laconic British colonials savoring the heat and hedonism of the British Empire." (read the entire Book World review)
"Synopsis" by , The two-time Pulitzer Prize- and three-time National Book Award-nominated author of the bestseller "Le Divorce" returns with a mesmerizing novel of double standards and double agents.
"Synopsis" by ,
The two-time Pulitzer Prize and three-time National Book Award-nominated author of Le Divorce returns with a mesmerizing novel of double standards and double agents

In Lulu in Marrakech, Diane Johnson brilliantly exposes the manners and morals of the cultural collision between Islam and the West. Lulu Sawyer arrives in Marrakech, Morocco, hoping to rekindle her romance with a worldly Englishman, Ian Drumm. It?s the perfect cover for her assignment for the CIA?tracing the flow of money from well-heeled donors to radical Islamic groups. While spending her days poolside among Europeans in villas staffed by maids in abayas, and her nights at lively dinner parties, Lulu observes the fragile and tense coexistence of two cultures. But beneath the surface of this polite expatriate community lies a sinister world laced not only with double standards, but double agents.

As in her previous novels, Diane Johnson weaves a dazzling tale in the great tradition of works about naïve Americans abroad, with a fascinating new assortment of characters as well as witty and timely observations on the political and sexual complexities between Islamic and Western culture.

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