Hanan al-Shaykh’s “The Story of Zahra” (Arab Writers in Translation Reading Circle)
by Mark Chmiel
Our novel this month is by Lebanese writer, Hanan al-Shaykh, The Story of Zahra. Hala Abdelaziz will facilitate our discussion.
We meet on Wednesday 27 June from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma (1077 South Newstead, St. Louis 63110). A potluck dinner begins at 6; discussion commences at 6:45.
Please join us and bring a friend!
Some background: Hanan Al-Shaykh is a Lebanese novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and playwright. She was born in Beirut in 1945 and brought up in Ras al-Nabeh, a conservative and unfashionable sector of the city. She first attended al-‘Amiliyyah’s traditional Muslim girls’ primary school and then the more sophisticated al-Ahliyyah School. By the age of 16, she had already published essays in the newspaper al-Nahar. Between the years 1963 and 1966 she studied at American College for Girls in Cairo. Between 1966 to 1975, she was back in Beirut working in television as well as a journalist for Al-Hasna’ — a women’s magazine — and then for al-Nahar, before turning to write fiction. In 1976, Hanan left Lebanon because of the civil war. She lived in Saudi Arabia until 1982 and eventually moved to London where she currently lives with her family.
Hanan has published numerous novels and short stories and is considered a major force in Arabic Literature. She is one of the leading contemporary women writers in the Arab world and has established critical success of her books in the United States and Europe. Her novels, which are all written in Arabic, have been translated into English, French, Dutch, German, Danish, Italian, Korean, Spanish, and Polish.