The Tiller of Waters

by Hoda Barakat

Overview:

This spellbinding novel narrates the many-layered recollections of a hallucinating man in devastated Beirut. The desolate, almost surreal, urban landscape is enriched by the unfolding of the family sagas of Niqula Mitri and his beloved Shamsa, the Kurdish maid. Mitri reminisces about his Egyptian mo.....more


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Book synopsis/description:

This spellbinding novel narrates the many-layered recollections of a hallucinating man in devastated Beirut. The desolate, almost surreal, urban landscape is enriched by the unfolding of the family sagas of Niqula Mitri and his beloved Shamsa, the Kurdish maid. Mitri reminisces about his Egyptian mother and his father who came back to settle in Beirut after a long stay in Egypt.

Mitri and his father, both textile merchants, see the world through the cloth, from the intimacy of linen, velvet, and silk to the most impersonal synthetics. Shamsa relates her story, the myriad adventures of her parents and grandparents who moved from Iraqi Kurdistan to Beirut. Haunting scenes of pastoral Kurds are juxtaposed against the sedentary decadence of metropolitan residents.

Barakat weaves into her sophisticated narrative shreds of scientific discourse about herbal plants and textile crafts, customs and manners of Arabs, Armenians, and Kurds, mythological figures from ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Phoenicia, and Arabia, the theosophy of the African Dogons and the medieval Byzantines, and historical accounts of the Crusades in the Holy Land and the silk route to China.

About the author:

Hoda Barakat was born in Beirut and graduated in French language and literature from Beirut University in 1975. She went to Paris in 1976 to continue her education, after which she worked in higher education, journalism and research. She was forced to leave Lebanon during the Civil War of 1989, and has lived in exile in France since then. The Tiller of Waterswon the Naghib Mahfouz award for Literature in 2000. She has also published a collection of short stories and two other novels, one of which, The Stones of Laughter,was published in an English translation in 1994.

Other details:

ISBN 9788188965694
Category Fiction and Literature
Language English
Edition First
Published in 2004
Publisher Women Unlimited
Condition Brand New
Pages 206
Width 5.5 inches
Height 8.5 inches
Tags Novel , Fiction

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