Praise for the Women of the Family

Praise for the Women of the Family

Publishing House: Interlink Books

Publication Year: 2018

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 240

Praise for the Women of the Family – Nominated for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2016

Migrating to hills near Jerusalem, Bedouin patriarch Mannan hopes his son Muhammad al-Asghar will lead and unify their clan, al-Abd al-Lat.

Nevertheless, Muhammad finds himself at a crossroads, torn between ancient traditions and contemporary choices.

Bound by affection and loyalty to his progressive wife Sanaa, a childless divorcee, Muhammad works as a clerk in a Sharia court, recording marital contracts and divorce decrees.

Aspiring to be a writer, he immerses himself in unfolding narratives—colleagues’ stories, testimonies of unhappy spouses, tales from his mother Wadha (his father’s sixth wife), and accounts from siblings and extended family.

These stories expose gender inequalities in a clan society, worsened by the challenges of foreign occupation after the 1948 Palestinian exodus.

While Muhammad may not succeed in uniting the clan as his father had envisioned, he fulfills a different aspect of Mannan’s legacy by chronicling the clan’s history. Praise for the Women of the Family is a rich tapestry of family life, marked by tragedy, warmth, and humor, as observed by the patriarch’s youngest son on his quest to document the narrative of his people.

In this way, his aspiration to be a writer becomes not only a personal pursuit but also a catalyst for broader cultural and communal enrichment.

Read More About Mahmoud Shukair

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