Book Size: 5.25" x 8"

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781566560917

Imprint: Interlink Books

Edition: 1

Release date: 05/15/15

Category:

Dreams of Maryam Tair

Blue Boots and Orange Blossoms

By

$ 18

“The author laces together legend and myth, epic and quest, realism, fantasy into a complex novel, rich with meanings… everywhere the writing sings of the literary talents and acuity of its author. Hers is a new voice to listen out for.” – The Washington Times

About this book

An exciting debut and a wonderful work of magical realism.

Outside of time, the legendary storyteller and queen Sheherazade tells a little girl a story that has happened and is yet to happen, the rebirth of a story ancient and forgotten. Dreams of Maryam Tair: Blue Boots and Orange Blossoms brings readers to a Casablanca of myth and metaphor; curses and student revolts; and of witches, demons, djinns, and bureaucrats. Long after Biblical Adam set aside forgotten first-wife Lilith for Eve, star-crossed highborn Leila and scholar Adam catch the attention of the demons during Casablanca's 1981 Bread Riots, and are disappeared. Months later- after centuries in the demons' lair- Adam and Leila reunite at her parents' once grand and now cursed house as shadows of themselves. But Leila returns from her ordeal pregnant with a special, singular child, one who draws out magical beings and has the power to change everything. A daughter she named Maryam, born with the scent of orange blossoms and a body filled with pain.

Seamlessly interweaving a sprawling, multi-generational family tale with ancient creation stories, Mhani Alaoui's cyclical half-myth half-reality story celebrates the radical power of disobedience.

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About the author

Mhani Alaoui is a writer based in Casablanca, where she lives with her husband and sons. She teaches anthropology at the Casablanca School of Architecture. She lived in the US for twelve years, earning a PhD in anthropology from Princeton University, before returning to Morocco. Her first novel, Dreams of Maryam Tair, is a critically acclaimed work of magical realism based on the tale of Scheherazade.

Reviews

“The author laces together legend and myth, epic and quest, realism, fantasy into a complex novel, rich with meanings… everywhere the writing sings of the literary talents and acuity of its author. Hers is a new voice to listen out for.” – The Washington Times

“Dreams of Maryam Tair is an arresting tale with extraordinary appeal. There is here a real talent at work. Peoples and places come alive and are fully recognizable. In a sober style the author says it all, as it is: violence, abjection, misery, class arrogance, but also wonders and, perhaps, regenerative forces…” – Abdellah Hammoudi, Princeton University, author of A Season in Mecca

“Linking fairy-tale magic with harsh realism, Moroccan writer Mhani Alaoui tells a captivating story that draws on the mythological past, yet has much relevance for contemporary social and political problems in the Arab world… This novel is a delight to read as much for its lyrical, incisive prose as for its hopeful message that serves to remind of the original goals of the Arab uprising which are hard to discern today. Alaoui skillfully matches her prose to her subject, waxing lyrical in the imaginative passages and abruptly changing to a sharper style in the realistic parts of the novel. She has broad knowledge of ancient texts and mythology, whether Arab, Berber or Greek, and uses it to show how history can be told and retold, interpreted and reinterpreted according to who is in power… Alaoui’s story suggests new ways of addressing gender inequality and social injustice. One doesn’t have to ride a bicycle around the world, but one must respect individual differences and rely on the power of love not coercion.” – The Jordan Times

Additional information

Author

Alaoui, Mhani

Edition

1

Inprint

Interlink Books

Pages

352

Type

PB

Illustrator

Seif, Majed

Release date

05/15/15

Author Home

Casablanca , Morocco

Subtitle

Blue Boots and Orange Blossoms

Format

5"å_"å x 8"å

Reviews

"The author laces together legend and myth , epic and quest , realism , fantasy into a complex novel , rich with meanings" everywhere the writing sings of the literary talents and acuity of its author. Hers is a new voice to listen out for."å – The Washington Times "å¢ "Dreams of Maryam Tair is an arresting tale with extraordinary appeal. There is here a real talent at work. Peoples and places come alive and are fully recognizable. In a sober style the author says it all , as it is: violence , abjection , misery , class arrogance , but also wonders and , perhaps , regenerative forces""å – Abdellah Hammoudi , Princeton University , author of A Season in Mecca "å¢ "Linking fairy-tale magic with harsh realism , Moroccan writer Mhani Alaoui tells a captivating story that draws on the mythological past , yet has much relevance for contemporary social and political problems in the Arab world" This novel is a delight to read as much for its lyrical , incisive prose as for its hopeful message that serves to remind of the original goals of the Arab uprising which are hard to discern today. Alaoui skillfully matches her prose to her subject , waxing lyrical in the imaginative passages and abruptly changing to a sharper style in the realistic parts of the novel. She has broad knowledge of ancient texts and mythology , whether Arab , Berber or Greek , and uses it to show how history can be told and retold , interpreted and reinterpreted according to who is in power" Alaoui's story suggests new ways of addressing gender inequality and social injustice. One doesn't have to ride a bicycle around the world , but one must respect individual differences and rely on the power of love not coercion."å – The Jordan Times

MainReview

"The author laces together legend and myth, epic and quest, realism, fantasy into a complex novel, rich with meanings" everywhere the writing sings of the literary talents and acuity of its author. Hers is a new voice to listen out for."å – The Washington Times