A Novel of Baghdad
Naphtalene by Alia Mamdouh
Book DescriptionSeen 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.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781558614925
(220mm x 149mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Feminist Press
Publisher: Feminist Press
Publish Date: 1-Jun-2005
Country of Publication: Canada
Books By Author Alia Mamdouh
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As Suhaila lies in a coma in a Paris hospital, her son Nadir comes to discover her through the multiple narratives that hover around her sickbed: fragments of conversations, memories, and letters. Suhaila comes alive through the stories about her love of dancing, of wine, and of poetry, and the frustrating separation from her only son.
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Author Biography - Alia Mamdouh
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. Helene 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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