The Story of Zahra by Hanan al-Shaykh

By Hanan al-Shaykh

With greater than 21,000 copies in print of  Women Of Sand And Myrrh, and extra than  15,000 copies of the tale Of  Zahra, Hanan al-Shaykh is the easiest recognized and most  admired lady author of the Arab global. The paperback  publication of Zahra will bring  this passionate and brave novel to a much  larger workforce of readers. Its haunting tale of a  young Lebanese lady who makes an attempt to stem the  violence in Beirut via starting up a sexual liaison with a  sniper has "lifted the nook of a dark  curtain" (Sunday Telegraph )  from a global that fascinates us  all.

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Maybe I could mix things up a bit and get her a Lord Puppy). There is nothing I can buy her, though obviously I’m going to have to buy her something. The thing is – you wouldn’t think it from this rant, even though it’s true – I really love giving people presents. It gives me pleasure. I put a lot of thought into it. I start early, even if I do finish on the 23rd. And I’ve yet, in adult life, to give Kate something that provokes the kind of reaction I’m after: the gasp of delight, the genuine grin of pleasure that makes you think the whole flipping Christmas faff is worth it.

And then I’d want to laugh wildly, hahahahahaha, to roll around the floor kicking my legs in the air and whooping with incredulous, delighted joy. I didn’t, obviously. But I wanted to. Inside, I whooped. I whooped on our wedding day; and when Maisy was born, I cried with happiness and whooped some more. And then, slowly, the petering. Oh, it kills me. On so many levels, really. But mostly because it’s so sad. I’m like Kate: I believe in romance. But I don’t want to be like Kate and show the strength of my belief by marrying four different men – at the last count, though I think she’s pretty settled with Max.

All is well with the world, and here’s my waiter, and it’s two days to Christmas and oh man, this is nice. This is so nice. A champagne cocktail, I think, rather than a Martini – I have a vague notion that it won’t be as strong. I don’t want to be drunk: my tolerance for alcohol has decreased tragically with age, and these days my hangovers can last up to forty-eight hours. I wouldn’t mind, but they’re so seldom worth it. The white-jacketed cocktail man catches my eye and smiles as he makes my drink, and I am filled with love for humanity.

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