Item description for Absent by Betool Khedairi & Muhayman Jamil...
Absent tells the story of Dalal, a young Iraqi woman living with the childless aunt and uncle who raised her. Dalal and her neighbors try to maintain normal lives, despite the crippling effect of bombings and international sanctions resulting from the first Gulf War. By turns affectionate, wry, and darkly comic, Absent paints a moving portrait of people struggling to get by in impossible circumstances. Upstairs, the fortune-teller Umm Mazin offers her customers cures for their physical and romantic ailments; below, Saad the hairdresser attends to a dwindling number of female customers; and on the second floor, the nurse Ilham dreams of her long-lost French mother to escape the grim realities she sees in the children's ward at the hospital. Hoping to bring in much-needed cash by selling honey, Dalal's uncle turns to beekeeping, and instructs his niece in the care and feeding of these temperamental creatures.
Against a background of surprise arrests, personal With memories of happier times during the "Days of Plenty" of her childhood, Dalal falls in love for the first time against a background of surprise arrests, personal betrayals, and a crumbling social fabric that turns neighbors into informants. Tightly crafted and skillfully told, Absent is a haunting portrait of life under sanctions, the fragile emotional ties between individuals, and, ultimately, the resilience of the human spirit.
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Studio: American University in Cairo Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Dec 30, 2005
Publisher American University in Cairo Press
ISBN 9774249631 ISBN13 9789774249631
Availability 0 units.
More About Betool Khedairi & Muhayman Jamil
BETOOL KHEDAIRI was born in Baghdad in 1965 to an Iraqi father and a Scottish mother. She received a B.A. in French literature from the University of Mustansiriya and then traveled between Iraq, Jordan and the United Kingdom. She worked in the food industry while writing her first novel, A Sky So Close, published in Arabic in 1999 and now translated into English, Italian, French and Dutch. She currently lives in Amman, Jordan.
i spent a lot of time looking for an Iraqi novel, set in Iraq, written by an Iraqi and was not just about war, death, torture and misery. This book gave an interesting and fair account of Iraq during the '90's. I found the normalcy she described refreshing and reflected the times i lived in. The novel is written in a way that it gives its reader a sense that the author had a collection of short stories that she found could be woven together in a clever way.
I did not give it a 5 star rating for several reasons. Some of the historical facts are inaccurate; the inaccuracy was in sequence of events rather than describing the events themselves. I also had a sense that the author was afraid to put in writing how people felt about the conditions they found themselves in and the mass murders that were happening-the rumours that were usually truths. No opinions are given about saddam, the Kuwaiti invasion or the war. her characters did express some opinions about the sanctions, however. Why? are we still afraid to say anything negative about Saddam even now? The author does live in Jordan...