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book cover of The Locust and the Bird

The Locust and the Bird

(2009)
A non fiction book by

 
 
'One of the most daring . . . female writers of the Middle East' (San Francisco Chronicle) gives us an indelible work of nonfiction: an account of her mother's remarkable life, at the core of which is a tale of undying love.

In a masterly act of literary transformation, Hanan al-Shaykh re-creates the dramatic life of her mother, Kamila, in Kamila's own voice. And so we see 1930s Beirut through the eyes of the unschooled but irrepressibly spirited ten-year-old child who arrives there from a small village in southern Lebanon with her own mother and siblings. We see her drawn to the excitements of the city, to the thrill of the cinema, and, most powerfully, to Mohammed, the young man who will be the love of her life. Despite a forced marriage at the age of thirteen to a much older man, despite the two daughters she bears him (one of them the author), despite the scandal and embarrassment she brings to her family, Kamila continues to see Mohammed. Finally, after nearly a decade, her husband gives her a divorce. Now we are looking through the eyes of a still very young woman who abandons her first family in order to create a family with the man she truly loves, only to be left a widowed mother of five when Mohammed dies tragically young.

As the narrative unfolds through the years (Kamila died in 2001) we follow this passionate, strong, demanding, and captivating woman as she survives the tragedies and celebrates the triumphs of
a life lived to the very fullest. It's an extraordinary story given a brilliantly realized, luminous voice.

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Used availability for Hanan Al-Shaykh's The Locust and the Bird

Hardback Editions

August 2009 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story
Author(s): Hanan al-Shaykh
ISBN: 0-307-37820-9 / 978-0-307-37820-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Pantheon
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2009 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story
Author(s): Hanan Al-Shaykh
ISBN: 0-7475-9988-2 / 978-0-7475-9988-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon UK   


Paperback Editions

April 2010 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story
Author(s): Hanan al-Shaykh
ISBN: 0-307-47231-0 / 978-0-307-47231-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2010 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story
Author(s): Hanan Al-Shaykh
ISBN: 1-4088-0084-5 / 978-1-4088-0084-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2009 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story
Author(s): Hanan Al-Shaykh
ISBN: 1-4088-0007-1 / 978-1-4088-0007-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

August 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story
Author(s): Hanan al-Shaykh
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA