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Absent

Absent

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Written by Betool KhedairiAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Betool Khedairi
Translated by Muhayman JamilAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Muhayman Jamil

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • On Sale: July 10, 2007
  • Price: $15.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8129-7742-4 (0-8129-7742-4)
Also available as an eBook.
about this book

Dalal is a young woman living in a crowded Baghdad apartment with the childless aunt and uncle who raised her. In the same building, Umm Mazin, a fortune-teller, offers her customers cures for their physical and romantic ailments, Saad the hairdresser attends to a dwindling number of female customers, and Ilham, a nurse, escapes the stark realities of her hospital job in dreams of her long-lost French mother. Despite the damaging effects of bombings and international sanctions on their world, all the residents try to maintain normal lives.

Hoping to bring in much-needed cash by selling honey, Dalal’s uncle becomes a beekeeper, enlisting Dalal’s help in the care of these temperamental creatures. Meanwhile, Dalal falls in love for the first time–against a background of surprise arrests, personal betrayals, and a crumbling social fabric that turns neighbors into informants.

Tightly crafted and full of vivid, unforgettable characters, Absent is a haunting portrait of life under restrictions, the fragile emotional ties among family and friends, and the resilience of the human spirit.