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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abaya al-Tahawy Alia anymore Arabic arms balcony beautiful Bedouin blood Blue Aubergine body bottle brother Nader Cairo camphor chest closed clothes corridor dance dark daughter door dreams dress eyes face father feel filly fingers floor forget French teacher friends front girl glasses Grandma Sitti grandmother hair hand head heart henna hide Hind Ibn Hazm ijtihad Infitah Islamic jasmine jihad kiss laugh leave legs look Maha Mama mastic mirror mother mouth Nada's Naguib Mahfouz never night nuun palm paper perfume pillow plaits pull Queen Nariman rabbits Ring Saad Basha Safaa scars screaming Semiramis Sheikh Ali's bar sirma Sitti lives slap sleep smile smoke story swing talk tears tell things threw told veranda voice waiting walk wall wearing weep window woman words write young