A daring work of cultural experimentation, steeped in the great legends of Arabia. The distinguished Middle Eastern author Raja Alem grew up in Mecca at a time when the holy city was on the cusp of transformation from medieval to modern. In this vanished Mecca, vividly brought to life again in My Thousand and One Nights, women hold center stage-especially Jummo, the wildlyA daring work of cultural experimentation, steeped in the great legends of Arabia. The distinguished Middle Eastern author Raja Alem grew up in Mecca at a time when the holy city was on the cusp of transformation from medieval to modern. In this vanished Mecca, vividly brought to life again in My Thousand and One Nights, women hold center stage-especially Jummo, the wildly passionate daughter of the Water Carriers' Sheik. This faraway time and setting become compellingly real through the intimate drama of Jummo's life, the tragic arc of her affair with her childhood sweetheart and her lifelong love for the mysterious Sidi Wadhana, a more-than-human emissary from the Netherworld.Jummo's world, veiled and invisible to outsiders until this telling of her story, has the feel of the true center of an Arabia that has come to us in many exotic and threatening guises. Jummo's Mecca is a different world, with different narrative strategies, but her dramatic problems are universal: how lethal is love, how dangerous is woman? And how sensual is the yearning for immortality?...
|Title||:||My Thousand & One Nights: A Novel of Mecca|
|Number of Pages||:||272 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
My Thousand & One Nights: A Novel of Mecca Reviews
There's such a thing as ethereal "dreamy" (A.B. Yehoshua's "The Lover"), and there is incoherency. I don't fault the author entirely in this work, but I suspect it has been overly reworked by an overexcited English-language collaborator with a "bursting-the-seams" exuberance to evoke the Arabian culture that this novel loses the reader. The introduction section gives a glimpse of how much facelift is performed while tweaking the novel into English. There are surely better works to get a closer look at this fascinating locale and time period.
I wrote my thesis on this book and the magic realism in it, therefore I had to reread it multiple times. I can understand the criticism Raja Alem gets from her English readers for the intricacy of her style, which could definitely be a stylistic flaw. However, My Thousand and One Nights: a Novel of Mecca does an amazing job a women dominated assessment of Mecca in what is supposed to be a very patriarchal setting. I love Jummo, and her multiple layers and her journey that transcends this world. I was very fascinated with depth Alem gave to a female character who's initially dismissed as being problematic. What's not clear to me yet is the relationship between the narrator Zohr and Hassan of Basra, I looked so closely into that and it still made no sense. Overall, this was quite the different read. The jumbled up setting of the chapters mights throw readers off, but I think it contributes to the theme of Mecca being lost to time.
Way too bizarre for me to get into.