Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: The Locust and the Bird

"WAITING ON WEDNESDAY" is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.

Title: The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story
Author: Hanan Al-Shaykh
Pub. Date: August 25, 2009

Book Description:

“One of the most daring female writers of the Middle East” (San Francisco Chronicle) gives us an extraordinary work of nonfiction: an account of her mother’s remarkable life, at the core of which is a tale of undying love. In a masterly act of literary transformation, Hanan al-Shaykh re-creates the dramatic life of her mother, Kamila, in Kamila’s own voice. We enter 1930s Beirut through the eyes of the unschooled but irrepressibly spirited nine-year-old child who arrives there from a small village in southern Lebanon. We see her drawn to the excitements of the city, to the thrill of the cinema, and, most powerfully, to Mohammed, the young man who will be the love of her life.Despite a forced marriage at the age of thirteen to a much older man, despite the two daughters she bears him (one of them the author), despite the scandal and embarrassment she brings to her family, Kamila continues to see Mohammed. Finally, after nearly a decade, her husband gives her a divorce, but she must leave her children behind.
The Locust and the Bird is both a tribute to a strong-willed and independent woman and a heartfelt critique of a mother whose decision were unorthodox and often controversial. As the narrative unfolds through the years (Kamila died in 2001) we follow this passionate, strong, demanding, and captivating woman as she survives the tragedies and celebrates the triumphs of a life lived to the very fullest.
What's your pick this week?


  1. The book sounds great and the cover is fabulous.

  2. We have similar tastes Diane! This sounds wonderful and again, I'm adding another of your WOW books to my wishlist!!

  3. This sounds very interesting considering how few choices women of that time and place had. I love the old fashioned look of the cover.twistif

  4. You started out with Song of Renewal and ended up your post with a different book! I read through your entire post :)

    I think you left something out! Easy to do - i do it all the time!

  5. I am really excited about this book and can't wait for this book to come out. I haven't read much about Beirut, but really like middle eastern literature.


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