Fragments from the Common Ground
By Ahdaf Soueif
(Anchor, Paperback, 9781400096633, 352pp.)
Publication Date: October 11, 2005
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From the bestselling author of the Booker Prize finalist The Map of Love–an incisive collection of essays on Arab identity, art, and politics that seeks to locate the mezzaterra, or common ground, in an increasingly globalized world.
The twenty-five years’ worth of criticism and commentary collected here have earned Ahdaf Soueif a place among our most prominent Arab intellectuals. Clear-eyed and passionate, and syndicated throughout the world, they are the direct result of Soueif’s own circumstances of being “like hundreds of thousands of others: people with an Arab or a Muslim background doing daily double-takes when faced with their reflection in a western mirror.” Whether an account of visiting Palestine and entering the Noble Sanctuary for the first time, an interpretation of women who choose to wear the veil, or her post—September 11 reflections, Soueif’s intelligent, fearless, deeply informed essays embody the modern search for identity and community.
Ahdaf Soueif was born in Cairo. She is the author of Aisha, Sandpiper, In the Eye of the Sun, and the bestselling novel The Map of Love, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999. She also has translated from the Arabic the award-winning memoir I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti.
“Soueif is a political analyst and commentator of the best kind.” –London Review of Books
“Marvellous. . . . A writer of special importance. . . . Her combination of centred gravity, minute precision and insistent humanity generates highly clarified truth.” –The Independent