The Almond: The Sexual Awakening of a Muslim Woman
An autobiographical erotic novel written by a contemporary woman who is an obsevant Muslim, "The Almond is an extraordinary and pioneering literary work, a truly unforgettable journey into the sexual undercurrents of a world that is, outwardly and to Western eyes, puritanical. Badra is a young Muslim widow who flees the small town of Imchouk for Tangiers, to take refuge with her Uncle Slimane's iconoclastic ex-wife, who has always advised Badra to seek her own pleasure. In Imchouk, it was expected that Badra's life should end with her husband's but at Aunt Selma's Badra beings to speak about her sexual history, which started with a brutal arranged marriage, and to think about how she wants to live from now on. And what she chooses bears little resemblance to the role of timid, sexless wife that has been selected for her. She recalls her youthful curiosity about sex--what other girls' and women's bodies were like, her first attempts to spy on men, her fascination with the two beautiful prostitute sisters who lived outside Imchouk--and flowers into a passionate, consuming relationship with a wealthy doctor and society man who makes her feel pleasure she has never known before. As Badra remembers and rediscovers her own sexual being, in secnes that are erotic, revelatory, and sometimes bittersweet, C. Jane Hunter's translation gives us a book of great power that resembles a Muslim "Vagina Monologues. The Almond is an inspiring, illuminating novel that reminds us of the transformative power of desire and pleasure.