A collection of fourteen stories set in Jerusalem, Lebanon, the Arabian Gulf, Jordan, and Greece. The stories offer insights into the world of Arab women while exploring love, courage, and the way women find the means of expressing themselves in traditionally circumscribed settings.
“A promising debut collection…Place and character are vividly evoked and the distinct flavor of a different culture well caught…” —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Fields of Fig and Olive
A promising debut collection…Place and character are vividly evoked and the distinct flavor of a different culture well caught…
In her Middle East world, sexual roles are sternly defined and jealously protected. But you don’t have to be antediluvian to love the exotic settings and the humanity of the people in the 14 stories by Abdul-baki. She has been blessed with the ability to make foreignness familiar.
She does what every Arab leader would like to do—humanize the people of Arab descent, something long overdue in American literature.
The stories offer insights into the cloistered world of Arab women…how women find means of expressing themselves in severely circumscribed settings.
An excellent ‘translator’ of Middle East sensibilities, particularly those of women. Her politics are feminist, her theme is human ethics, and her writing is finely honed.
Abdul-Baki’s skillful and realistic presentation of characters, along with her masterly use of flashback and other narrative techniques, contributes to making her collection one of the most successful of its kind.
It is difficult to heap enough praise on this author for her astonishingly vivid depictions of landscape and her ability to evoke spirit of place.
This collection is truly a breakthrough in the world of Middle Eastern literature…written in English by someone who has a foot planted…in both the West and the Middle East.
She challenges Western ways of thinking about the nature and behavior of Arab women and men and causes us to question some of our assumptions about the intricate relationships of families and lovers.