In sparse, powerful lines, Shara Lessley recalls an expat's displacement, examines her experience as a mother, and offers intimate witness to the unfolding of the Arab Spring. Veering from the strip malls and situation rooms of Washington to the markets and mines of Amman, Lessley confronts the pressures and pleasures of other cultures, exploring our common humanity with all its aggressions, loves, biases, and contradictions.
About the Author
Shara Lessley is the author of Two-Headed Nightingale. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, and a Diane Middlebrook Fellowship at the University of WisconsinMadison. The coeditor of The Poem's Country: Place and Poetic Practice, she lives in Oxford, England.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments I In Jordan’s Northernmost Province First Days: August Advice from the Predecessor’s Wife Mine Warfare The Explosive Expert’s Wife In Arabic Letter to Bruce in Paradise, Indiana Arab Spring Border The Accused Terrorist’s Wife Arab Spring: Things Green II They Ask Me to Send Petra by Night The Explosive Expert’s Wife The Marine Ball Ex-pat Ghazal The Ugly American Dawn at the Dead Sea Strawberries The Explosive Expert’s Wife Vertigo: Boston / The Middle East Transfusion Arabian Night Scent of the Gods These Days: April, Al-Shakareen St. III Aubade: Amman The Long Flight Home The Bath Massacre, 1927 The Explosive Expert’s Wife Before the Bridal Shop Domestic Intelligence Long Division in a Time of Drought Sleeper Cell Found Poem: No Joke The Clinic Bomber’s Mother Letter to Rania in Amman His Eye Is on the Sparrow Plausible Deniability Late Epithalamium with Perennials Lines Following a Husband’s Departure Notes
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As in her Two-Headed Nightingale, Shara Lessley miraculously manages to conjure up entire lives, cities, secrets, and dreams, in the brevity of a page or a stanza. The Explosive Expert’s Wife delves into characters dealing with discordance and dislocation, that of being Americans living in the Middle East, of being mothers sharing bodies with unborn children, of being wives unsure of what they are sharing with unfathomable spouses. Jordan blazes from each page, full of breath and fire, from its disappearing black irises, to young boys harassing a horse at Petra, to women harvesting fields of salt: “All’s beautiful. Because this country’s not just table grapes but the olives’ acidic skin.” Though slim, this collection is vast and unforgettable. I highly recommend.