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An Unnecessary Woman

by Rabih Alameddine

A childless divorcee for over 50 years, living in 21st century Beirut, Aaliya assumes most of her world will find her 'unnecessary'. As she faces old age - her biggest challenge yet - will her dry wit, intelligence and love for literature, art and her indomitable city prove enough to make her feel that she isn't completely useless? A fascinating read.

Extract

Dickens's Londoners are more trustworthy than the Lebanese. Beirut and its denizens are famously and infamously unpredictable .... Does reliability reinforce your illusion of control? If so, I wonder if in developed countries (I won't use the hateful word civilised) the treacherous, illusion-crushing process of aging is more difficult to bear.
Am I having an easier time than women my age in London?

Parallels

An Unsafe Haven by Nada Awar Jarrah
All my Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
Last Friends by Jane Gardam
 

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