Hanan Al-Shaykh Interview

October 2nd, 2009 by Lewis Frumkes


As J.M Coetzee says, “It is an extraordinarily brave act for a writer to undertake to inhabit, fully and sympathetically, the life her mother lived. And yet that is exactly what Hanan Al-Shaykh does in “The Locust and the Bird,” her novel based on her mother’s story. We enter 1930’s Beirut through a nine-year-old child who arrives there from a small town in Lebanon. We see her drawn to the excitements of the city, to the thrill of the cinema, and most powerfully to Mohammad, the young man who will be the love of her life. Suffice that Hanan Al-Shaykh is a gifted story teller, the author of “Women of Sand and Myrrh,” “The Story of Zahra,” “Beirut Blues,” and “Only in London.” She lives in London and visits me to discuss her new tale about her mother. A beautiful and fascinating woman. Join us.

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