The Occasional Virgin
Paperback $19.99 - Bloomsbury
Fiction - Published: 3/Sep/2019 - ISBN: 9781408895689
Yvonne and Huda have come a long way. Attractive, successful and glamorous, their brilliant ascent has flung them far from Lebanon, and each other.
Now it's only on their rarely snatched holidays that the friends can catch up. As they swim, drink and talk by the glittering Italian Riviera, Huda and Yvonne ponder just how complicated it is to be free and the eternal mysteries of love, sex, and getting a guy to call you back.
Then, amid the glitz and chatter of London's Mayfair, a chance encounter brings their past rushing back. But Huda has a wicked trick up her sleeve - Hanan Al-Shaykh is one of the Arab world's most acclaimed writers. She was born in Lebanon and brought up in Beirut, before going to Cairo to receive her education. She was a successful journalist in Beirut, then later lived in the Arabian Gulf, before moving to London. She is the author of the short story collection I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops and her novels include The Story of Zahra, Women of Sand and Myrrh, Beirut Blues, Only in London, The Locust and the Bird, a memoir of her mother's life, and One Thousand and One Nights, her acclaimed reimagining of Arabic folktales. She has also written two plays, Dark Afternoon and Paper Husband. Her work has been translated into 28 languages. Hanan Al-Shaykh lives in London.
Catherine Cobham is a lecturer in Arabic and head of the department of Arabic and Persian at the University of St Andrews. She has translated a number of contemporary authors from Arabic, including Naguib Mahfouz, Mahmoud Darwish, Hanan al-Shaykh, Fuad al-Takarli and Ghayath Almadhoun. A Net-a-Porter Magazine Top 10 Beach Read; 'bold, witty and highly contemporary - A madcap romantic comedy for our multicultural age' (Woman & Home)
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