Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad

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Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad by Bee Rowlatt,May Witwit Summary

Would you brave gun-toting militias for a cut and blow dry? May�s a tough-talking, hard-smoking, lecturer in English. She�s also an Iraqi from a Sunni-Shi�ite background living in Baghdad, dodging bullets before breakfast, bargaining for high heels in bombed-out bazaars and battling through blockades to reach her class of Jane Austen-studying girls. Bee, on the other hand, is a London mum of three, busy fighting off PTA meetings and chicken pox, dealing with dead cats and generally juggling work and family while squabbling with her globe-trotting husband over the socks he leaves lying around the house. They should have nothing in common. But when a simple email brings them together, they discover a friendship that overcomes all their differences of culture, religion and age. Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad is the story of two women who share laughter and tears, and swap their confidences, dreams and fears. And, between the grenades, the gossip, the jokes and the secrets, they also hatch an ingenious plan to help May escape the bombings of Baghdad . . .

Women's Writing and Muslim Societies

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Women's Writing and Muslim Societies by Sharif Gemie Summary

Women’s Writing and Muslim Societies looks at the rise in works concerning Muslim societies by both western and Muslim women – from pioneering female travellers like Freya Stark and Edith Wharton in the early twentieth century, whose accounts of the Orient were usually playful and humorous, to the present day and such works as Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran and Betty Mahmoody’s Not Without My Daughter, which present a radically different view of Muslim Societies marked by fear, hostility and even disgust. The author, Sharif Gemie, also considers a new range of female Muslim writers whose works suggest a variety of other perspectives that speak of difficult journeys, the problems of integration, identity crises and the changing nature of Muslim cultures; in the process, this volume examines varied journeys across cultural, political and religious borders, discussing the problems faced by female travellers, the problems of trans-cultural romances and the difficulties of constructing dialogue between enemy camps.

The Gulf Wars with Iraq

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The Gulf Wars with Iraq by Jane Bingham Summary

This book briefly examines the military and political impact of the Gulf wars, along with their imapct on civilian populations.

Discourses of Space

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Discourses of Space by Judit Pieldner Summary

Ever since the emergence of the spatial turn in several scientific discourses, special attention has been paid to the surrounding space conceived as a construct created by the dynamics of human activity. The notion of space assists us in describing the most varied spheres of human existence. We can speak of various physical, metaphysical, social and cultural, and communicative spaces, as structuring components providing access to various literary, linguistic, social and cultural phenomena, thus promoting the initiation of a cross-disciplinary dialogue. The essays selected in this volume cover a wide range of topics related to space: intercultural and interethnic spaces; linguistic, textual space formation; the narratology of space, spatial-temporal relationships, space construction in literature and film; space in contemporary art; inter-art relations and intermediality; spaces of cultural memory; nature and culture; cultural geography; cross-cultural connections between the East and the West; Central and Eastern European geocultural paradigms; the relationship between geographical space and cyberspace; and relational spaces. The approaches used in this volume range across various discursive practices related to space, outlining the shifts and displacements concerning existence and identity in the continuously changing, restructuring, always transitory, in-between spaces.

Fifty Shades of Feminism

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Fifty Shades of Feminism by Lisa Appignanesi,Rachel Holmes,Susie Orbach Summary

Half a century after the publication of The Feminine Mystique, have women really exchanged purity and maternity to become desiring machines inspired only by variations of sex, shopping and masochism - all colored a brilliant neuro-pink? In this volume, fifty women young and old - writers, politicians, actors, scientists, mothers - reflect on the shades that inspired them and what being woman means to them today. Contributors include: Margaret Atwood, Joan Bakewell, Bidisha, Lydia Cacho, Shami Chakrabarti, Lennie Goodings, Linda Grant, Natalie Haynes, Siri Hustvedt, Kathy Lette, Kate Mosse, Pussy Riot, Bee Rowlatt, Elif Shafak, Ahdaf Soueif, Sandi Toksvig, Natasha Walter, Timberlake Wertenbaker Jeanette Winterson - alongside the three editors.

The End of Iraq

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The End of Iraq by Peter W. Galbraith Summary

The invasion of Iraq by American, British and other coalition forces has indeed transformed the Middle East, but not as the Bush and Blair administrations had imagined. It is Iran, not Western-style democracy, that has emerged as the big winner, creating a Tehran-Baghdad axis that would have been unthinkable before the war. THE END OF IRAQ is the definitive account of the US and UK's catastrophic involvement in Iraq, as told by America's leading independent expert on the country. Peter Galbraith reveals in exquisite detail how US policies -- some going back to the Reagan administration -- have now produced a nearly independent Kurdistan in the north, an Islamic state in the south, and uncontrollable insurgency in the centre, and an incipient Sunni-Shiite civil war that has Baghdad as its central front. Iraq, Galbraith argues, cannot be reconstructed as a single state. Instead, a sensible strategy must accept that it has already broken up and focus instead on stopping an escalating civil war. Unflinching, accessible and powerful, THE END OF IRAQ explores and explains the myriad mistakes and false assumptions that have brought the country to its current pass, and what must be done to prevent further bloodshed.

Reading Lolita in Tehran

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Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi Summary

Every Thursday morning in a living room in Iran, over tea and pastries, eight women meet in secret to discuss forbidden works of Western literature. As they lose themselves in the worlds of Lolita, The Great Gatsby and Pride and Prejudice, gradually they come to share their own stories, dreams and hopes with each other, and, for a few hours, taste freedom. Azar Nafisi's bestselling memoir is a moving, passionate testament to the transformative power of books, the magic of words and the search for beauty in life's darkest moments.

The Waiter

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The Waiter by Matias Faldbakken Summary

“As if The Remains of the Day had been written by Kingsley Amis, The Waiter is…one of the most purely entertaining novels I’ve read in years. This book is a meal you won’t want to finish.” —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest In the tradition of the modern classics The Remains of the Day and A Gentleman in Moscow comes The Waiter, in which the finely tuned balance of a timeworn European restaurant is irrevocably upset by an unexpected guest. The Hills dates from a time when pigs were pigs and swine were swine, the Maître D’ likes to say—in other words from the mid-1800s. Every day begins with the head waiter putting on his jacket. In with one arm, then the other. Shrugged onto his shoulders. Horn buttons done up. Always the same. There is clinking. Cutlery is moved around porcelain and up to mouths. But in this universe unto itself, there is scarcely any contact between the tables of regulars. And that is precisely how the waiter likes it. Sheer routine…until a beautiful young woman walks through the door and upsets the delicate balance of the restaurant and all it has come to represent. Told in a kaleidoscopic rotation of voices—the headwaiter, the bartender, the coat checker, the chef who never speaks—The Waiter marks the North American debut of an exciting new voice in literary fiction that will leave you longing to sit down at The Hills, order a drink, and watch the world go by….

Pay Any Price

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Pay Any Price by James Risen Summary

The author reveals what he sees as the hidden costs of the War on Terror—from squandered and stolen dollars, to outrageous abuses of power, to wars on normalcy, decency and truth. By the author of State of War. 75,000 first printing.

Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve

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Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve by Ben Blatt Summary

What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? How can we judge a book by its cover? Data meets literature in this playful and informative look at our favorite authors and their masterpieces. “A literary detective story: fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intriguing.” —Brian Christian, coauthor of Algorithms to Live By There’s a famous piece of writing advice—offered by Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and myriad writers in between—not to use -ly adverbs like “quickly” or “fitfully.” It sounds like solid advice, but can we actually test it? If we were to count all the -ly adverbs these authors used in their careers, do they follow their own advice compared to other celebrated authors? What’s more, do great books in general—the classics and the bestsellers—share this trait? In Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve, statistician and journalist Ben Blatt brings big data to the literary canon, exploring the wealth of fun findings that remain hidden in the works of the world’s greatest writers. He assembles a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, and starts asking the questions that have intrigued curious word nerds and book lovers for generations: What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Do men and women write differently? Are bestsellers getting dumber over time? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? What makes a great opening sentence? How can we judge a book by its cover? And which writerly advice is worth following or ignoring? Blatt draws upon existing analysis techniques and invents some of his own. All of his investigations and experiments are original, conducted himself, and no math knowledge is needed to understand the results. Blatt breaks his findings down into lucid, humorous language and clear and compelling visuals. This eye-opening book will provide you with a new appreciation for your favorite authors and a fresh perspective on your own writing, illuminating both the patterns that hold great prose together and the brilliant flourishes that make it unforgettable.

My Year in Iraq

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My Year in Iraq by L. Paul Bremer Summary

"BAGHDAD WAS BURNING." With these words, Ambassador L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer begins his gripping memoir of fourteen danger-filled months as America's proconsul in Iraq. My Year in Iraq is the only senior insider's perspective on the crucial period following the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime. In vivid, dramatic detail, Bremer reveals the previously hidden struggles among Iraqi politicians and America's leaders, taking us from the ancient lanes in the holy city of Najaf to the White House Situation Room and the Pentagon E-Ring. His memoir carries the reader behind closed doors in Baghdad during hammer-and-tongs negotiations with emerging Iraqi leaders as they struggle to forge the democratic institutions vital to Iraq's future of hope. He describes his private meetings with President Bush and his admiration for the president's firm wartime leadership. And we witness heated sessions among members of America's National Security Council -- George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice -- as Bremer labors to realize the vision he and President Bush share of a free and democratic New Iraq. He admires the selfless and courageous work of thousands of American servicemen and -women and civilians in Iraq. The flames Bremer describes on arriving in Baghdad were from fires started by looters. One of his first acts was to request an additional 4,000 Military Police to help restore order in the streets. For most of the next year, as the insurgency spread, Bremer resisted efforts by generals and senior Defense Department civilians to reduce American troop strength prematurely, replacing our forces with ill-trained, poorly led Iraqi police and soldiers. And he lays to rest the myth that the Coalition disbanded Saddam's army, a force comprised of Shiite draftees who had deserted and refused to serve under their former Sunni officers. Bremer also describes his frustration with intelligence operations that concentrated on the search for weapons of mass destruction while the insurgency gathered strength. Bremer faced daunting problems working with Iraq's traumatized and divided population to find a path to a responsible and representative government. The Shia Arabs, the country's long-repressed majority, deeply distrusted the Sunni Arab minority who had held power for centuries and had controlled the detested Baath Party. Iraq's non-Arab Kurds teetered on the brink of secession when Bremer arrived. He had to find Sunnis willing to participate in the new political order. Some in the U.S. government pushed for what Bremer would come to call a cut-and-run policy that would have quickly delivered governance of Iraq to a handful of unrepresentative anti-Saddam exiles. Bremer vigorously resisted this ill-conceived course. He takes the reader inside marathon negotiations as he and his team shepherded Iraq's new leaders to write an interim constitution with guarantees for individual and minority rights unprecedented in the region. My Year in Iraq is required reading for all those interested in the real story of how America responded to its gravest recent overseas crisis.

Austenistan

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Austenistan by Laaleen Sukhera Summary

"Heiress Kamila Mughal is humiliated when her brother's best friend snubs her to marry a social climbing nobody from Islamabad. Roya discovers her fiance has been cheating on her and ends up on a blind date on her wedding day. Beautiful young widow Begum Saira Qadir has mourned her husband, but is she finally ready to start following her own desires? Inspired by Jane Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan, Austenistan is a collection of seven stories; romantic, uplifting, witty, and heartbreaking by turn, which pay homage to the world's favourite author in their own uniquely local way."--Provided by publisher.

An Unlikely Friendship

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An Unlikely Friendship by Ann Rinaldi Summary

On the night of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination, his frantic wife, Mary, calls for her best friend and confidante, Elizabeth Keckley, but the woman is mistakenly kept from her side by guards who were unaware of Mary Todd Lincoln's close friendship with the black seamstress. How did these two women--one who grew up in a wealthy Southern home and became the wife of the president of the United States, the other who was born a slave and eventually purchased her own freedom—come to be such close companions? With vivid detail and emotional power, Ann Rinaldi delves into the childhoods of these two fascinating women who became devoted friends and confidantes amid the turbulent times of the Lincoln administration.

Before I Met You

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Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell Summary

“Lisa Jewell leaves the chick-lit tag firmly behind with Before I Met You, a poignant story about a young woman uncovering her grandmother’s bohemian life in 1920s London—and finding her own place in the world in the process.”—Good Housekeeping (UK) “Jewell’s moving novel immerses readers in the lives of these unique characters through the universal themes of family and a search for belonging...a compelling and entertaining novel.” —Publishers Weekly Jazz Age London, a passionate and forbidden interracial romance, and the unbreakable bond between a bright young woman and her eccentric grandmother come together brilliantly in this gem of a novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, Twenties Girl, and The Chaperone. After her grandmother Arlette’s death, Betty is finally ready to begin her life. She had forfeited university, parties, boyfriends, summer jobs—all the usual preoccupations of a woman her age—in order to care for Arlette in their dilapidated, albeit charming home on the English island of Guernsey. Her will included a beneficiary unknown to Betty and her family, a woman named Clara Pickle who presumably could be found at a London address. Now, having landed on a rather shabby street corner in ’90s Soho, Betty is determined to find the mysterious Clara. She’s ready for whatever life has to throw her way. Or so she thinks . . . In 1920s bohemian London, Arlette De La Mare is starting her new life in a time of postwar change. Beautiful and charismatic, she is soon drawn into the hedonistic world of the Bright Young People. But two years after her arrival in London, tragedy strikes and she flees back to her childhood home and remains there for the rest of her life. As Betty navigates the ups and downs of city life and begins working as a nanny for a rock star tabloid magnet, her search for Clara leads her to a man—a stranger to Betty, but someone who meant the world to her grandmother. Will the secrets of Arlette’s past help Betty find her own way to happiness in the present? A rich detective story and a captivating look at London then and now, Before I Met You is an unforgettable novel about two very different women, separated by seventy years, but united by big hearts and even bigger dreams.

How to Be a Heroine

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How to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis Summary

While debating literature’s greatest heroines with her best friend, thirtysomething playwright Samantha Ellis has a revelation—her whole life, she's been trying to be Cathy Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights when she should have been trying to be Jane Eyre. With this discovery, she embarks on a retrospective look at the literary ladies—the characters and the writers—whom she has loved since childhood. From early obsessions with the March sisters to her later idolization of Sylvia Plath, Ellis evaluates how her heroines stack up today. And, just as she excavates the stories of her favorite characters, Ellis also shares a frank, often humorous account of her own life growing up in a tight-knit Iraqi Jewish community in London. Here a life-long reader explores how heroines shape all our lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Cassandra and Jane

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Cassandra and Jane by Jill Pitkeathley Summary

They were beloved sisters and the best of friends. But Jane and Cassandra Austen suffered the same fate as many of the women of their era. Forced to spend their lives dependent on relatives, both financially and emotionally, the sisters spent their time together trading secrets, challenging each other's opinions, and rehearsing in myriad other ways the domestic dramas that Jane would later bring to fruition in her popular novels. For each sister suffered through painful romantic disappointments—tasting passion, knowing great love, and then losing it—while the other stood witness. Upon Jane's death, Cassandra deliberately destroyed her personal letters, thereby closing the door to the private life of the renowned novelist . . . until now. In Cassandra & Jane, author Jill Pitkeathley ingeniously reimagines the unique and intimate relationship between two extraordinary siblings, reintroducing readers to one of the most intriguing figures in the world of literature, as seen through the eyes of the one person who knew her best.

Murder by the Book

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Murder by the Book by Claire Harman Summary

Early on the morning of May 6, 1840, the elderly Lord William Russell was found in his London house with his throat so deeply cut that his head was nearly severed. The crime soon had everyone, including Queen Victoria, feverishly speculating about motives and methods. But when the prime suspect claimed to have been inspired by a sensational crime novel, it sent shock waves through literary London and drew both Dickens and Thackeray into the fray. Could a novel really lead someone to kill? In Murder by the Book, Claire Harman blends a riveting true-crime whodunit with a fascinating account of the rise of the popular novel and the early battle for its soul among the most famous writers of the day.

I Am Malala

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I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai,Christina Lamb Summary

*Winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize* In 2009 Malala Yousafzai began writing a blog on BBC Urdu about life in the Swat Valley as the Taliban gained control, at times banning girls from attending school. When her identity was discovered, Malala began to appear in both Pakistani and international media, advocating the freedom to pursue education for all. In October 2012, gunmen boarded Malala's school bus and shot her in the face, a bullet passing through her head and into her shoulder. Remarkably, Malala survived the shooting. At a very young age, Malala Yousafzai has become a worldwide symbol of courage and hope. Her shooting has sparked a wave of solidarity across Pakistan, not to mention globally, for the right to education, freedom from terror and female emancipation.

Correspondents

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Correspondents by Tim Murphy Summary

'A sprawling tale of love, family, duty, war, and displacement' Khaled Hosseini Correspondents by Tim Murphy is a powerful story about the legacy of immigration, the present-day world of refugeehood, the violence that America causes both abroad and at home, and the power of the individual and the family to bring good into a world that is often brutal. Spanning the breadth of the twentieth century and into the post-9/11 wars and their legacy, Correspondents is a powerful novel that centres on Rita Khoury, an Irish-Lebanese woman whose life and family history mirrors the story of modern America. Both sides of Rita’s family came to the United States in the golden years of immigration, and in her home north of Boston Rita grows into a stubborn, perfectionist, and relentlessly bright young woman. She studies Arabic at university and moves to cosmopolitan Beirut to work as a journalist, and is then posted to Iraq after the American invasion in 2003. In Baghdad, Rita finds for the first time in her life that her safety depends on someone else, her talented interpreter Nabil al-Jumaili, an equally driven young man from a middle-class Baghdad family who is hiding a secret about his sexuality. As Nabil’s identity threatens to put him in jeopardy and Rita’s position becomes more precarious as the war intensifies, their worlds start to unravel, forcing them out of the country and into an uncertain future.

The Swallows of Kabul

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The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra Summary

"Surprisingly tender." -- The New York Times Book Review. Set in Kabul under the rule of the Taliban, this extraordinary novel takes readers into the lives of two couples: Mohsen, who comes from a family of wealthy shopkeepers whom the Taliban has destroyed; Zunaira, his wife, exceedingly beautiful, who was once a brilliant teacher and is now no longer allowed to leave her home without an escort or covering her face. Intersecting their world is Atiq, a prison keeper, a man who has sincerely adopted the Taliban ideology and struggles to keep his faith, and his wife, Musarrat, who once rescued Atiq and is now dying of sickness and despair. Desperate, exhausted Mohsen wanders through Kabul when he is surrounded by a crowd about to stone an adulterous woman. Numbed by the hysterical atmosphere and drawn into their rage, he too throws stones at the face of the condemned woman buried up to her waist. With this gesture the lives of all four protagonists move toward their destinies. The Swallows of Kabul is a dazzling novel written with compassion and exquisite detail by one of the most lucid writers about the mentality of Islamic fundamentalists and the complexities of the Muslim world. Yasmina Khadra brings readers into the hot, dusty streets of Kabul and offers them an unflinching but compassionate insight into a society that violence and hypocrisy have brought to the edge of despair.