Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad

Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad

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Seen through the eyes of a strong-willed and perceptive young girl, Naphtalene beautifully captures the atmosphere of Baghdad in the 1940s and 1950s. Through her rich and lyrical descriptions, Alia Mamdouh vividly recreates a city of public steam baths, roadside butchers, and childhood games played in the same streets where political demonstrations against British colonialism are beginning to take place.

At the heart of the novel is nine-year-old Huda, a girl whose fiery, defiant nature contrasts sharply with her own inherent powerlessness. Through Mamdouh's strikingly inventive use of language, Huda's stream-of-consciousness narrative expands to take in the life not only of a young girl and her family, but of her street, her neighborhood, and her country. Alia Mamdouh, winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Award in Arabic Literature, is a journalist, essayist and novelist living in exile in Paris. Long banned from publishing in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, she is the author of essays, short stories, and four novels, of which Naphtalene is the most widely acclaimed and translated.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558617124
Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Publication date: 08/31/2013
Series: Women Writing the Middle East
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 214
File size: 460 KB

About the Author

Alia Mamdouh was born in Baghdad in 1944 and has been a journalist and writer for over thirty years. She has published four novels, two collections of short stories, and numerous critical essays. Since going into exile in 1982, she has lived and worked in London, Cairo, and Beirut.

Peter Theroux is the author of The Strange Disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr, Sandstorms, and Translating LA, and the translator of several Arab novels, including The House of Mathilde by Hassan Daoud and Dongola: A Novel of Nubia by Idris Ali.

Hélène Cixous is one of the most prominent cultural and political thinkers in the world. Her work has transformed both feminism and literary criticism. In Paris, she sits as chair at the Centre de Recherches en Etudes Feminines, which she founded.

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