As a young man growing up under communism in South Yemen, Imran finds himself drawn to Hawiya, the daughter of a high-ranking official in the Marxist party. He departs Aden, the seaport city of his childhood, to study literature in Paris. Years later he returns to Yemen and meets Hawiya again--only to find that she is now a niqab-wearing Salafist, calling on people to join the conservative Islamist movement.
Set against the backdrop of Yemeni history, Habib Abdelrab Sarori's Arabic Booker long-listed novel traces one man's lifelong search for love and his own political ideology.
Habib Abdulrab Sarori is a Yemeni novelist, born in 1956. He has been Professor of Computer Science at the National Institute of Applied Sciences in Rouen, France, since 1992. He has published literary works in both Arabic and French. His first novel La Reine Etripee was published in French in 1998. He has published seven novels in Arabic, a collection of short stories and a book of poetry. An extract from his novel, The Bird of Destruction (2005), appeared in English translation in Banipal magazine, in an issue devoted to contemporary Yemeni writing. Elisabeth Jaquette is a writer and translator. She has a MA in Anthropology from Columbia University, a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College, and was a 2012-13 CASA fellow at the American University in Cairo. She is also the Arabic reading group chair for UK publisher And Other Stories. Elisabeth is currently translating The Queue by Egyptian author Basma Abdel Aziz, which received a 2014 English PEN Translates award and will be published by Melville House in 2016.