A Swallow Press Book
“Much of this delicately composed, elegant novel is a gentle and simple story of a woman searching for herself in a world of callous, unimaginative male supremacy…. The writing, disclosing bitter, painful truths, is deceptively lyrical.”
“This is a lyrical novel that portrays the life of an Egyptian woman who is forced to accept a loveless and humiliating marriage.”
The Women’s Review of Books
“Woman may be compared to a very deep body of water; one can never predict the power of the undertow.”
Vizir Ptahhotep, “Instruction on the Subject of Women,” Egypt, c. 2600 B.C.E.
From Sleep Unbound portrays the life of Samya, an Egyptian woman who is taken at age 15 from her Catholic boarding school and forced into a loveless and humiliating marriage. Eventually sundered from every human attachment, Samya lapses into despair and despondence, and finally an emotionally caused paralysis. But when she shakes off the torpor of sleep, the sleep of avoidance, she awakens to action with the explosive energy of one who has been reborn.
Andrée Chedid is a poet, essayist, dramatist and novelist of Egypto-Lebanese origin. Born and educated in Cairo, where she received a degree in literature from the American University, she moved to Paris in 1946, and became a naturalized French citizen. She is the recipient of many literary awards, including the Prix Louise Labbé (poetry), 1969; Aigle d'or de la poesie, 1972; Grand prix de l'Academie Belge, 1974; Prix de l'afrique Méditeranéenne, 1974; Prix Mallarmé (poetry), 1976; and Prix Goncourt de la nouvelle, 1979. More info →
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This delicious and devastating novel, which the New York Times called “a fresh and moving account of contemporary Zimbabwe,” handles bleak themes with humor and grace as it tells the story of the rise and collapse of a friendship.
On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe—and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives. Each night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in the windows of Antwerp’s red-light district, promising to make men’s desires come true—if only for half an hour.
Every city has an unspoken side. Cape Town, between the picture postcard mountain and sea, has its own shadow: a place of dislocation and uncertainty, dependence and desperation, destruction and survival, gangsters, pimps, pedophiles, hunger, hope, and moments of happiness.
In the early 1980s, a pharmaceutical company administers an unethical drug trial to residents of the Niger Delta village of Kreektown. When children die as a result, the dominoes of language extinction and cultural collapse begin to topple. Nwokolo moves across time and continents to deliver a novel that speaks to urgent contemporary concerns.