Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In the House of Silence

To complement the novels in Garnet's award-winning Arab Women Writers series, In the House of Silence is a collection of autobiographical writings by thirteen leading Arab women authors including some of my favorite writers such as Salwa Bakr, Liana Badr, Hoda Barakat, Fadia Faqir (also the editor), Alia Mamdouh, Ahlam Mosteghanemi, & Hamida Na'na.

Through these testimonies the women describe their experiences and expose the often-difficult conditions under which their narratives were woven.

Patterns emerge, which run throughout their testimonies - experiences of confinement, subjugation, the struggle for education and the eventual use of writing as a way out. They speak of their own reasons for writing, of how experiences in family life, politics, exile and even imprisonment have affected them and their work, and of how their motivation has been both tested and reinforced by various setbacks and the struggle for recognition.

Startlingly honest, these testimonies will be essential reading for all those interested in women's roles in Arab society and the ways that these roles are changing.  Review from Powell's Books.

"For Arab Women Writers, the writing of autobiography isn't that straight forward. The confidence and certitude about the self, its position in history, and language is lacking. Most contributors wrote their text to negotiate a textual, sexual, linguistic space for themselves within a culture that is predominantly male dominant."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved the very little I read from this book. Will see if they have it in the library here..

Thanks mom for always promoting such important texts :)