Raja Alem with Tom McDonough
The story of one woman's passionate odyssey and sophisticated fantasy of Arabia,
ancient and modern.
"Told in the form of dreams and living parables, Fatma is full of vivid descriptions that billow from Alem’s bottomless well of Saudi culture. Nuggets of wisdom are sequestered within these languid lines of prose like diamonds in the rough."
—Virginia Quarterly Review
"One might consider this tale a revelation of Arabian women's inner lives in rebellion against the confines imposed on themor perhaps an exploration of innate suspicion between male and female. Or perhaps there is no identifiable meaning, just effect. The highly sensuous text was shaped by McDonough, who adds an afterword about his working relationship with the Saudi author."
"Dreams, myths, and prophecies figure prominently in this elegant and eerie tale-an unusual collaboration between the Saudi Arabian woman who wrote it in English and the American cinematographer whose revision of her manuscript thus is, and isn't literally a 'translation.' . . . A unique fever dream."
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Raja Alem is the author of seven novels, many plays, and collections of poetry. She lives in Jidda, Saudi Arabia.
Tom McDonough is the author of a novel, Virgin with Child, and a short story collection, Light Years. His cinematography won an Academy Award for the feature documentary Best Boy.
5 x 7, 176 pages