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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.
“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