AA. VV., In a Fertile Desert, American University in Cairo Press: A new collection of short fiction from the Arabian Gulf.
Here, for the first time, is a volume of short stories from this commercially and culturally vital and vibrant center of the Arab world. Life before oil in this region was harsh, and many of the stories in this collection—by both men and women from all corners of the country—tell of those times and the almost unbelievable changes that have come about in the space of two generations. Some tell of the struggles faced in the early days, while others bring the immediate past and the present together, revealing that the past, with all its difficulties and dangers, nonetheless possesses a certain nostalgia. Contributors: Abdul Hamid Ahmed, Roda al-Baluchi, Hareb al-Dhaheri, Nasser Al-Dhaheri, Maryam Jumaa Faraj, Jumaa al-Fairuz, Nasser Jubran, Saleh Karama, Lamees Faris al-Marzuqi, Mohamed al-Mazroui, Ebtisam Abdullah Al-Mu’alla, Ibrahim Mubarak, Mohamed al-Murr, Sheikha al-Nakhy, Mariam Al Saedi, Omniyat Salem, Salma Matar Seif, Ali Abdul Aziz al-Sharhan, Muhsin Soleiman, ‘A’ishaa al-Za‘aby.
Maha Gargash, The Sand Fish, HarperCollins: A novel of Dubai, The Sand Fish by Maha Gargash offers readers a fascinating glimpse into another corner of the world. Set in the 1950s in what is now the United Arab Emirates, The Sand Fish tells the poignant and powerful story of a rebellious young woman trapped in a repressive society—as richly atmospheric a look at Middle Eastern life and culture as The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Alaa Al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building.
Ameera Al Hakawati, Desperate in Dubai, Ebury Press: Oozing with men, money, and Maseratis, Dubai is the ultimate playground for the woman who knows her Louboutins from her Louis Vuittons.
But for some, there’s a lot more at stake than a Hermes Birkin. Leila has been in search of a wealthy husband for over a decade. Nadia moves to Dubai to support her husband’s career, only to have her sacrifices thrown in her face. Sugar escapes the UK in an attempt to escape her past. Lady Luxe, the rebellious Emirati heiress, scoffs at everything her culture holds sacred. Until the day her double life starts unravelling at the seams.
Set against a backdrop of luxury hotels and manmade islands, Desperate in Dubai tells the tale of four desperate women as they struggle to find truth, love, and themselves.