Fiction in Translation
English edition  
January  2000
140 pp.
Paperback
12.5X20 cm
$14.95
LE100
ISBN 9789774245428
For sale worldwide

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The Tent

Miral al-Tahawy
Translated by Anthony Calderbank

Takes the reader inside the wounded hearts and minds of a group of Egyptian Bedouin women.

The Tent is a beautifully written, powerful, and disturbing novel, featuring a host of women characters whose lives are subject to the will of a single, often absent, patriarch and his brutal, foul-mouthed mother. Told through the eyes of a young girl, the lives of the Bedouin and peasant women unfold, revealing the tragedy of the sonless mother and the intolerable heaviness of existence. Set against trackless deserts and star-filled night skies, the story tells of the young girl’s relationship with her distant father and a foreign woman who is well-meaning but ultimately motivated by self-interest. It provides an intimate glimpse inside the women’s quarters, and chronicles their pastimes and preoccupations, their stories and their songs.
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Miral al-Tahawy was born in 1968 and studied literature at Cairo University. The Tent, her first novel, was widely acclaimed when it was first published in Arabic in 1996 as al-Khibaa’. She has also written a collection of short stories and a second novel, al-Badhingana al-zarqa. Anthony Calderbank has lived in Egypt for many years and has had a long interest in Arabic language and literature. He currently teaches English at the American University in Cairo.

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“a bleak but beautiful tale”—Lonely Planet

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