Cinnamon by Samar Yazbek

IMG_5083Set in Damascus, Syria. Reviewed on 2018/10:

I know I have mentioned this a million times before. The beauty of reading some of these books almost at the same time, it’s the fact that you listen to them talking to each other, having a dialogue from one era to another. You read a book like #sabriyah (which I featured yesterday) and then here you encounter #aliyah and #hanan and all the women she is sleeping with and all the women she is devouring with a taste of #cinnamon . #samaryazbek goes there where Sabriyah refuses to go. That is mainly: #classstruggle#racism and unbridled #sexuality . The tale of two seemingly different women coming from disparate socio-economic backgrounds which intertwined on one thing and one thing only: hopelessness. Despite the coercive and insidious abuse of power and controlling atmosphere they both live in, somehow they manage to enjoy these tiny moments of pleasure as if stealing time from some pre-confirmed tragedy. One inevitably enjoys these moments more than the other. Hanan comes from a wealthy background and a #colorofskin which allows her more leverage and security compared to Aliyah’s destitute upbringing and darker color of skin. I wish #yazbek had delved more into the topic of how race, gender and class all play a major part in #syrian society and history and it’s also reflected in other #arabsocieties. Which brings me to my only criticism of this book. Yazbek relies heavily on moody abstract thoughts and non-sequential lines which do give the story a mysterious air albeit one that becomes repetitive and annoying at times. You should definitely read this book though. Yazbek came to me #highlyrecommendedand I can’t wait to read her other incisive and incendiary books. #syrianliterature#damascus #arabiabooks #دمشق#lesbianism #penprize #سمر_يزبك

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