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Traces of Enayat

Mersal, Iman
Format: Paperback
Publisher: And Other Stories
Published: August 3, 2023
ISBN: 9781913505721
Country of publication: United Kingdom


When Iman Mersal stumbles upon a great – yet forgotten – novel written by Enayat al-Zayyat, a young woman who killed herself in 1963, four years before her book was published, Mersal begins to research the writer. She tracks down Enayat’s best friend, who had been Egypt’s biggest movie star at the time; she is given access to Enayat’s diaries. Mersal can’t accept, as has been widely speculated since Enayat’s death, that a publisher’s rejection was the main reason for Enayat’s suicide. From archives, Enayat’s writing, and Mersal’s own interviews and observations, a remarkable portrait emerges of a woman striving to live on her own terms, as well as of the artistic and literary scene in post-revolution Cairo.

Blending research with imagination, and adding a great deal of empathy, the award-winning Egyptian poet Iman Mersal has created an unclassifiable masterpiece.

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