"Set during the first intifada, this sophisticated, graceful love story—the final work of Palestinian author and literary critic Jabra (1920–1994)—is a hallmark of contemporary Arabic literature."—Publishers Weekly
Jabra tells his love story through alternate journal entries and with a complex layering of voices, showing how the affair of a famed (fictional) male novelist and the woman who desires him takes shape, through twin perspectives. Initially he is seen through the text of her journals: from her fascination with his writings until the instant when she arranges their first meeting. Thereafter, Jabra presents the male novelist’s point of view: from the start of the relationship through demise due to departure, and eventual momentary reunion in romantic Paris.
Jabra’s well-known concern with the inconstancy of identity and its articulation through multiple first-person narration is ever evident. However, this is the first time he places a strong female character at the center of his novel, with all the enticing complexities that result from the interplay of the author’s projected female and male sensibilities. Crafting a tale of love from two disparate yet linked points of view, Jabra encourages readers to question their assumptions about the nature of self, its role in shaping character, and the possibilities of salvation through action. The extreme value Jabra places on the import of the female narrative gives his book a timely relevance.
Jabra Ibrahim Jabra (1920-1994) was a poet, translator, and literary critic. He was also the author of The Ship and In Search of Walid Masoud, the latter also published by Syracuse University Press.
Ghassan Nasr is a freelance literary translator, writer, and book editor. He lives in New York City.
6 x 9, 204 pages