The Story of Zahra – by Hanan al-Shaykh
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Zahra’s mother uses her as a cover for her meetings with a lover; Zahra’s strict father mistreats her for being complicit in her mother’s affair. Fleeing from Beirut in search of solace, Zahra stays with her uncle in West Africa—and then uses marriage as another kind of escape. Back in Beirut, love finally comes to her, but with terrible consequences. Banned in several Middle Eastern countries since its original publication, The Story of Zahra is an intoxicating, provocative story of a young woman’s coming of age in a city torn apart by war.