A Tunisian novel shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (the ‘Arabic Booker’)
This novel from one of Tunisia’s leading writers, the first of his works to be translated into English, narrates a love story in all its stages, in all its glorious and inglorious details. Moment by moment we become acquainted with the morning rituals, the desires of the flesh, the turbulence of the spirit, and even a few unattractive personal habits. It is a journey that takes us inside the nuances of what passes between two lovers, from the first glances of attraction to the final words of anger. It is a journey filled with all the hallmarks of the complex relationship between one man and one woman—the mystery and the ambiguity, the intricacy and the confusion—which, in the end, serve to expose its fragility. This is an intimate tale that manages to tell not only the story of two individuals, but also that of the collision of two cultures.
HabibSelmi, born in 1951 in Kairouan, Tunisia, is a professor of Arabic literature in Paris and has published seven novels, which have been translated into French, German, and Italian. The Scents of Marie-Claire was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arab Fiction (the Arabic Booker) in 2009.
FadwaAlQasem, with a B.A. in English literature, is a writer and jewelry designer and the creative director of Tabeer, a content and media services company based in Dubai.
"Those interested in a love story which reveals every nuance of a complex relationship will find this a fascinating novel. The fact that the reader knows from the early pages of the book that this long-time love will end makes its slow deterioration hypnotically suspenseful in its own right."—Mary Whippe, Seeing the World through Books
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