Fiction in Translation
English edition  
288 pp.
12.5X20 cm
ISBN 9789774162084
Not for sale in North America


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The Loved Ones

Alia Mamdouh
Translated by Marilyn Booth

Winner of the 2004 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

Suhaila lies in a coma in a Paris hospital. The loved ones of the title are the constellation of friends, predominantly women, who flock to Suhaila’s side from all over the world to envelope her in the warmth of friendship that may ultimately save her and enable her rebirth. Suhaila comes alive through the stories about her: her excesses, her love of dancing, of wine, and of poetry, despite years of abuse by her Iraqi husband, the bleakness of exile from home, and the frustrating separation from her only son. The Loved Ones is an intimately moving, polyphonic narrative of displacement and nomadism, a disjointed, at times disfigured tale that blends diverse time frames so that the past, the present, and the future are unified, interlocked, and intertwined. This award-winning novel is a hymn to friendship and to boundless giving that ultimately restores life—it is a story about memory and history, a story against forgetting.
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Alia Mamdouh was born in Iraq and received her degree in psychology from the University of Mastansariya in 1971. She served as editor-in-chief of al-Rasid magazine from 1970 to 1982. She now lives in Paris. She is the author of Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad (AUC Press, 2005). Marilyn Booth is the translator of The Open Door by Latifa al-Zayyat (AUC Press, 2002), Somaya Ramadan’s The Leaves of Narcissus (AUC Press, 2002), and Hoda Barakat’s The Tiller of the Waters (AUC Press, 2003).

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“Leaves an indelible impression. [The Loved Ones] is rich with family and neighbors and [Alia Mamdouh] notes all of their subtle interactions and secrets.”—Library Journal//endoftext//endoftext

“Ferocious, visceral descriptions . . . give a powerful sense not only of Suhaila's world but also of the way we make and understand memories.”—Booklist//endoftext//endoftext

“Often intense and lyrical.”—Kirkus Reviews

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