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Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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Staircase of a Thousand Steps

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Staircase of a Thousand Steps Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Staircase of a Thousand Steps lifts the veil from a mystical land where jasmine and dung mix and where men and women embrace the inconceivable.

In a Middle Eastern village that traces its history back to Abraham, the men gather nightly beneath a tree named Moses' Finger, and the women meet where "the earth breathes."

In this divided place, the midwife Faridah possesses transcendent wisdom and a dangerous scorn for tradition. The shepherd Harif, seer and village outsider, weaves stories in an effort to protect his fragile status. And Harif's granddaughter, Jammana, struggles between the allure of the ancient world and the tensions of a modern age.

Through an ancestral gift, Jammana experiences the memories of those closest to her. But as she unwittingly uncovers the village's secrets — including a forbidden love affair — old grudges move like a slow burn across the fields and ignite.

Set in Transjordan just before the 1967 war with Israel, Staircase of a Thousand Steps blends a chorus of voices into a poetic and haunting tale of loyalty, longing, and accidental betrayal.

Review:

"Hamilton writes with striking clarity, using words as carefully as the Bedouin use water to bring a disappearing world to vibrant life. Here, in a luminous debut, are the voices, real and rarely heard, of traditional Arab women." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[An] engaging first novel....Hamilton is a natural storyteller: she weaves past and present artfully together, the narrative moves at a good clip and the mysticism throughout is rendered believably." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Hamilton shows how each generation's decisions create a web that ensnares the next. The prose is simple but elegant, and subtle interweaving of the mystical and the mundane makes the novel delightfully compelling." Booklist

Review:

"[C]onfirms much about the inevitable and often perilous clash of established customs with modern or unfamiliar ways, resulting in a tension that Hamilton movingly and beautifully expresses throughout this superior debut. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Rich diversity of characters and poetic use of language add freshness to tale of human betrayal and small town pettiness." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"Poetic and convincing story of mysticism amid earthly joy and sorrow...where past and future are tantalizingly present." KLIATT

Review:

"Remarkably well-written and compelling....Hamilton is a graceful writer and terrific storyteller...a thoroughly absorbing novel." Arizona Daily Sun

Synopsis:

A former Associated Press correspondent draws on her firsthand knowledge of the Middle East in this compelling debut novel, set in 1967 just before the war with Israel.

Synopsis:

Set in Transjordan just before the 1967 war with Israel, Staircase of a Thousand Steps is a "remarkably well-written...thoroughly absorbing novel" (Arizona Daily Sun) that takes us to a place where memory whispers like fear, where visions of a long-ago forbidden love affair haunt a precocious young girl — and where the flare of old rivalries can be as sudden as searing as the desert wind.

Synopsis:

Set in Transjordan just before the 1967 war with Israel, Staircase of a Thousand Steps is a "remarkably well-written...thoroughly absorbing novel" (Arizona Daily Sun) that takes us to a place where memory whispers like fear, where visions of a long-ago forbidden love affair haunt a precocious young girl and where the flare of old rivalries can be as sudden as searing as the desert wind.

About the Author

Masha Hamilton worked for nearly ten years as an AP foreign correspondent in the Middle East and then as Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. She also wrote a column from Moscow and reported for NBC/Mutual Radio.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jeane, March 6, 2008 (view all comments by Jeane)
This poignant, insightful story is set in a small, ancient village near Jordan called Ein Fadr. Young Jammana goes there for one last visit to her mother's birthplace, before leaving to America. In Ein Fadr, people live the same way they have for centuries. Jammana is troubled by the conflict between the traditional Arabic lifestyle in Ein Fadr and the modern world she is headed for in America. She has an unsettling gift of experiencing other people's memories in her dreams. She wants to find answers about the past from a midwife in the village who delivered her mother. In her quest for truth, Jammana begins to uncover buried secrets and dig up painful memories between villagers. Woven throughout this story of ancient culture, women's power and one girl's coming of age in troubled times, is an unsanctioned love affair. The ending is tragic, but in ways you might not expect. Staircase of a Thousand Steps is full of powerful language, vivid imagery and raw, touching moments. It definitely caught my attention.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780425185308
Author:
Hamilton, Masha
Publisher:
Blue Hen Books
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Girls
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Grandfathers
Subject:
Jordan
Subject:
Midwives
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Buddhism
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
no. 11
Publication Date:
May 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
5 x 7 x 1 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Staircase of a Thousand Steps New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.00 Backorder
Product details 288 pages Blue Hen Books - English 9780425185308 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Hamilton writes with striking clarity, using words as carefully as the Bedouin use water to bring a disappearing world to vibrant life. Here, in a luminous debut, are the voices, real and rarely heard, of traditional Arab women."
"Review" by , "[An] engaging first novel....Hamilton is a natural storyteller: she weaves past and present artfully together, the narrative moves at a good clip and the mysticism throughout is rendered believably."
"Review" by , "Hamilton shows how each generation's decisions create a web that ensnares the next. The prose is simple but elegant, and subtle interweaving of the mystical and the mundane makes the novel delightfully compelling."
"Review" by , "[C]onfirms much about the inevitable and often perilous clash of established customs with modern or unfamiliar ways, resulting in a tension that Hamilton movingly and beautifully expresses throughout this superior debut. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Rich diversity of characters and poetic use of language add freshness to tale of human betrayal and small town pettiness."
"Review" by , "Poetic and convincing story of mysticism amid earthly joy and sorrow...where past and future are tantalizingly present."
"Review" by , "Remarkably well-written and compelling....Hamilton is a graceful writer and terrific storyteller...a thoroughly absorbing novel."
"Synopsis" by , A former Associated Press correspondent draws on her firsthand knowledge of the Middle East in this compelling debut novel, set in 1967 just before the war with Israel.
"Synopsis" by , Set in Transjordan just before the 1967 war with Israel, Staircase of a Thousand Steps is a "remarkably well-written...thoroughly absorbing novel" (Arizona Daily Sun) that takes us to a place where memory whispers like fear, where visions of a long-ago forbidden love affair haunt a precocious young girl — and where the flare of old rivalries can be as sudden as searing as the desert wind.
"Synopsis" by ,
Set in Transjordan just before the 1967 war with Israel, Staircase of a Thousand Steps is a "remarkably well-written...thoroughly absorbing novel" (Arizona Daily Sun) that takes us to a place where memory whispers like fear, where visions of a long-ago forbidden love affair haunt a precocious young girl and where the flare of old rivalries can be as sudden as searing as the desert wind.
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