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A Certain Woman

by Hala El-Badry

A story of an extramarital affair between a novelist and an archaeologist set in present day Egypt. Written in language which is both beautiful and passionate, the dilemma of the heroine and her inability to reach a decision is well conveyed. Not always an easy read, you may need to persevere as the action moves from past to present, through the voices of different narrators. However, worth reading for the power of the writing if not the plot.

Extract

She noticed her shadow elongated in front of her on the wall as she turned the page. She wondered to herself, 'Who put the chair for me with such precision as if preparing it for me?'

She smiled as she raised her head towards the sky. Her eyes caught a large plant pot hurtling down from the edge of the balcony on the floor above. Behind it she discerned a deep gleam in Mustafa's eyes as they narrowed with an intense hate that she hadn't seen in him before. The sudden panic was mixed with an ironic understanding of the story, so she smiled broadly without moving from where she was.
Translated by Farouk Abdel Wahab

Parallels

Muntaha by Hala El-Badry
 

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