This site requires cookies for account access and purchasing. It looks like cookies are disabled in your browser. To find out more about our cookie usage policy click here then to find out about changing your browser cookie settings click here (This link opens in a window).

This site requires cookies for account access and purchasing. You can review our use of cookies in our Cookie Policy, or Accept and Close this bar now.

This site requires cookies for account access and purchasing. It looks like cookies are disabled in your browser. To find out more about our cookie usage policy click here then to find out about changing your browser cookie settings click here (This link opens in a window).

This site requires cookies for account access and purchasing. You can review our use of cookies in our Cookie Policy, or Accept and Close this bar now.

Click to enlarge
Locust & The Bird

New York, 2001 As Hanan al-Shaykh travels through the streets of Manhattan to her daughter's wedding her mind is elsewhere. Remembering own secret ceremony some thirty years ago, her thoughts turn to her mother, Kamila, who was sacrificed into marriage: her absent mother who, in recent, reconciled years, has pleaded with Hanan, her daughter the writer, to tell this story. Lebanon, 1934. Kamila is nine years old when she is taken from the poverty of her childhood village in southern Lebanon to Beirut. Though she has never learned to read or write, stories, poetry and films are her passion, and she longs to go to school. Instead, she is to lead a life of domestic servitude-and worse, she has been secretly betrothed to her brother-in-law, Abu-Hussein, a man eighteen years her senior. A welcome escape from the strict household, Kamila is apprenticed to Fatme the seamstress. One day Kamila catches sight of a beautiful young man, Muhammad, sitting by a fountain. At the age of thirteen, for what will be the first and only time in her life, Kamila falls deeply in love. The following year, to her fury and anguish, Kamila is married to Abu-Hussein. That night, he forces himself upon his child-bride and a daughter is conceived: four years later, Kamila's second daughter, Hanan, is born. In secret, but risking everything, Kamila continues to see Muhammad. But in choosing to follow her heart, she must also, agonisingly, leave behind her beloved daughters Beautifully evoking the fabric of life in Lebanon, The Locust and the Bird is a remarkable and intensely moving memoir. Told in a voice that is entirely distinctive and authentic, this unique portrait of the life of one woman gives us an astonishing insight into the lives of many others in the Arab world.

Hanan al-Shaykh is one of the contemporary Arab world's most acclaimed writers. She was born in Lebanon and brought up in Beirut, before going to Cairo to receive her education. She was a successful journalist in Beirut, then later lived in the Arabian Gulf, before moving to London. She is the author of the collection I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops and her novels include The Story of Zahra, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Beirut Blues and, most recently, Only in London, which was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in London.

User Reviews

Add your own review
Write a Review
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code Load new code
There are no reviews for this product