The Dove's Necklace

The Dove's Necklace

by Raja Alem


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When the body of a young woman is discovered in the Lane of Many Heads, an alley in modern-day Mecca, no one will claim it, as they are ashamed of her nakedness. As Detective Nasser pursues his investigation of the case, seemingly all of Mecca chimes in—including the Lane of Many Heads itself—in this “surreal, meditative take on a murder mystery” (The Guardian, Best Books of Summer). Nasser initially suspects that the dead woman is Aisha, one of the residents of the area, and searches her emails for clues. The world she paints embraces everything from crime and religious extremism to the exploitation of foreign workers by a mafia of building contractors, who are destroying the historic areas of the city. Another view reveals the city through the eyes of Yusuf, Aisha’s neighbor, increasingly frustrated by the accelerating pace of change. As gripping as classic noir, nuanced as a Nabokov novel, and labyrinthine as the alleys of Mecca itself, this brilliant fever dream of a novel masterfully reveals a city and a civilization in all its contradictions, at once beholden to brutal customs and uneasily coming to terms with new traditions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781468316223
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 600,529
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Raja Alem is the award-winning author of ten novels as well as numerous plays, short stories, and essays. She is the first woman to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, for The Dove's Necklace. The book won the LiBerator Prize for best book translated into German. Alem's work has been published in seven languages. She is a member of PEN International. Together with her sister, artist Shadia Alem, she established an Educational and Creative Center to promote creativity and provide books for the girls of Mecca. She was born in Mecca and currently lives in Paris.

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Praise for Raja Alem:

"Raja Alem's reputation in contemporary Arabic literature [is] similar to Nabokov's in ours: masterful, erudite, witty, and somewhat dangerous." —BOMB

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