The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story

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9780307472311: The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story

In a masterly act of literary transformation, celebrated novelist Hanan al-Shaykh re-creates the dramatic life and times of her mother, Kamila.
 
Married at a young age against her will, Kamila soon fell head-over-heels in love with another man—and was thus forced to choose between her children and her lover. As the narrative unfolds through the years—from the bazaars, cinemas and apartments of 1930s Beirut to its war-torn streets decades later—we follow this passionate woman as she survives the tragedies and celebrates the triumphs of a life lived to the very fullest.

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Review:

Amazon Exclusive: Marjane Satrapi Reviews The Locust and the Bird

Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran and now lives in Paris, where she is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers throughout the world, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. She is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Persepolis and Persepolis 2. She co-wrote and directed the Academy Award-nominated animated film version of Persepolis. Read Satrapi's exclusive Amazon guest review of The Locust and the Bird:

While I was reading Hanan Al Shaykh’s new book, The Locust and the Bird, my regret as an author was not to have known Kamila, Hanan’s mother, the extravagant narrator of this book. What a woman! What a storyteller! She reminds me of my beloved grandmother (who is in many of my books), and many other women of her generation that I knew, who were manipulative in order to survive, who lied in order to establish the truth, and, most of all, so full of life and passion. When I finished the book I had one major thought: this book needs to be made into a movie, but this is the kind of story one needs to be a real Lebanese in order to turn it into a movie. That was my other regret as a movie maker. But most of all I felt extremely lucky to spend time with someone so intelligent, full of humor and love. --Marjane Satrapi

(Photo © Maria Ortiz)

Amazon Exclusive: Hanan al-Shaykh on The Locust and the Bird

My mother was a phenomenon to all those who knew her. She lived her hard life in a peculiar comic way. My mother lied, stole, betrayed, abandoned her children. Loved, hated and said no to her family, to her society. She was also beaten, cursed, starved and adored. She lived in Beirut. Her flat was like a hotel lobby, a psychiatrist’s couch, a stage. Young and old gathered around her as if they were in the presence of a comic guru. She took anti-depressants: "the only way to cope with her popularity," she told me once. I knew that she first took them to help ease her guilt for abandoning my sister and me.

Though I never blamed her for leaving me at the age of 6, and for not being interested in me, nonetheless, I found myself building a wall between us. Throughout the years she never stopped explaining to me the reason for leaving my father to marry her lover. When I eventually listened to her story I found myself, as a novelist, face to face with a treasure wrapped in a tissue paper. --Hanan Al-Shaykh

(Photo © Hanan al-Shaykh)

About the Author:

Hanan al-Shaykh is one of the contemporary Arab world’s most acclaimed writers. She was born in Lebanon and brought up in Beirut, before going to Cairo to receive her education. She was a successful journalist in Beirut, then later lived in the Arabian Gulf, before moving to London. A novelist and a playwright, al-Shaykh is the author of the collection I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops, and the novels The Story of Zahra, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Beirut Blues, and, most recently, Only in London, which was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in London.

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a masterly act of literary transformation, celebrated novelist Hanan al-Shaykh re-creates the dramatic life and times of her mother, Kamila. Married at a young age against her will, Kamila soon fell head-over-heels in love with another man--and was thus forced to choose between her children and her lover. As the narrative unfolds through the years--from the bazaars, cinemas and apartments of 1930s Beirut to its war-torn streets decades later--we follow this passionate woman as she survives the tragedies and celebrates the triumphs of a life lived to the very fullest. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780307472311

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a masterly act of literary transformation, celebrated novelist Hanan al-Shaykh re-creates the dramatic life and times of her mother, Kamila. Married at a young age against her will, Kamila soon fell head-over-heels in love with another man--and was thus forced to choose between her children and her lover. As the narrative unfolds through the years--from the bazaars, cinemas and apartments of 1930s Beirut to its war-torn streets decades later--we follow this passionate woman as she survives the tragedies and celebrates the triumphs of a life lived to the very fullest. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780307472311

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