Blue aubergine

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American University in Cairo Press, 2002 - Fiction - 125 pages
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Blue Aubergine tells the story of a young Egyptian woman, born in 1967, growing up in the wake of Egypt's defeat of that year, and maturing into womanhood against the social and political upheavals Egypt experienced during the final decades of the twentieth century. Physically and emotionally scarred by her parents and the events of her childhood, and incapable of relating to men, Nada, 'Blue Aubergine,' fumbles through a series of dark and unsettling adventures, resorting first to full Islamic dress with niqab and gloves and then throwing it all off for the flowing hair and tight clothes of an emancipated young graduate student, in an ever more desperate and ultimately failed search for tenderness and affection.
A frank assessment of the damage society wreaks by foisting unwise claustrophobic values on its children, this text shifts unpredictably through time and space like a sojourn in dream time. A mixed crowd of aunts and teachers, classmates and fellow students, Marxists and Islamicists are there to people Blue Aubergine's bewildering journey to the knowledge that the maintenance of chastity and innocence and her naive determination to cling to the threads of silk and lace that bind her to her past bring only misery and isolation.

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About the author (2002)

Miral al-Tahawy was born in the Nile Delta province of El Sharqiyya, the daughter of a tribe known as al-Hanadi. Al-Tahawy has written several critically acclaimed works, including The Tent and Blue Aubergine (both published in English by the American University in Cairo Press). Her novels provide rare insight into the lives of Bedouin women in Egypt.

Anthony Calderbank has translated several works of modern Arabic fiction, including Haggag Hassan Oddoul's Nights of Musk (AUC Press, 2005) and Yousef al-Mohaimeed's Wolves of the Crescent Moon (AUC Press, 2007). He lives and works in Saudi Arabia.

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