The Story of Zahra: A Novel

( 3 )

Overview

With more than 21,000 copies in print of  Women Of Sand And Myrrh, and more than  15,000 copies of The Story Of  Zahra, Hanan al-Shaykh is the best known and most  admired woman writer of the Arab world. The paperback  publication of Zahra will bring  this passionate and courageous novel to a much  larger group of readers. Its haunting story of a  young Lebanese woman who attempts to stem the  violence in Beirut by ...
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Overview

With more than 21,000 copies in print of  Women Of Sand And Myrrh, and more than  15,000 copies of The Story Of  Zahra, Hanan al-Shaykh is the best known and most  admired woman writer of the Arab world. The paperback  publication of Zahra will bring  this passionate and courageous novel to a much  larger group of readers. Its haunting story of a  young Lebanese woman who attempts to stem the  violence in Beirut by initiating a sexual liaison with a  sniper has "lifted the corner of a dark  curtain" (Sunday Telegraph )  from a world that fascinates us  all.

The haunting story of a young Lebanese woman who attempts to stem the violence in Beirut by initiating a sexual liaison with a sniper has "lifted the corner of a dark curtain" (Sunday Telegraph) from a world that fascinates us all. "A classic by any standards."--Village Voice Literary Supplement.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Story Of Zahra is a classic by  any standards."--Village Voice  Literary Supplement.  

"This rich tale mesmerizes with its frank sexuality  and scenes of war-torn  Beirut."--Publishers Weekly.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Banned in several Arab nations, this rich tale mesmerizes with its frank sexuality and scenes of war-torn Beirut. Zahra is a misfit mistreated by her mother, who brings her along to secret meetings with a lover, and by her father, a harsh disciplinarian who reacts angrily to her habit of picking at her pimpled face. She leaves her parents to stay with an uncle who has fled to Africa to escape being arrested for political activity. When his affection for her grows sexual, Zahra agrees to an unsuccessful marriage with his friend Majed. Eventually, she returns to Beirut, where ``the war was like a weevil that had found its way into the heart of a huge bag of white flour and settled there,'' and begins meeting secretly to have sex with a man who may or may not be a rooftop sniper. A rotating first-person narrative gives everyone a voice; Zahra's is the most striking, but each character has memorable moments, as when Majed describes his adolescent arousal while reading Jane Eyre and seeing an illustration of the heroine kissing Mr. Rochester. Al-Shaykh ( Women of Sand and Myrrh ), a Lebanese writer now living in London, has a focused and original style. (Jan.)
Library Journal
This harsh 1986 novel traces several years in the life of Zahra, who attempts to escape her brutal existence in Lebanon by visiting an uncle in South Africa. When that venture proves equally empty, she returns to war-torn Beirut in hopes of finally finding inner peace.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385472067
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,439,711
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Hanan Al-Shaykh

HANAN al-SHAYKH was born in Lebanon and brought up in Beirut. Formerly a writer for the prestigious daily Al-Nahar, she is also the author of Women of Sand and Myrrh, The Story of Zahra, Beirut Blues, and, most recently, I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops. She lives in London with her family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2007

    very compelling

    i randomly found this book at the public library and i am so glad i did. it is a very touching story .. you really get into the mind of zahra and understand what she feels. its kind of a depressing book, but in a good way, because you really understand what the author was saying. ... read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2004

    great! wonderful! definate read!

    i thought this book was wonderful in every sense of the word. the author takes you right into the mind of the main character Zahra and her frustrations, humiliations, and disappointments. it is a somber novel with not much happiness but that is the message that i think the author wants to get across, that war is a terrible thing, it can kill people mentally if not physically, and there is nothing positive about it. the book was easy to read and the authors language is simple and inviting. i loved this book from every angle and even though it didnt have a happy ending, it depicted the truth of the lebanese civil war.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 2 of 3 Customer Reviews

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