The Loved Ones

The Loved Ones


Alia Mamdouh
A Mahfouz Medal-winner that weaves together a tender tale of bittersweet love between a mother and son.

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Paperback Edition
Publication Date: 09-01-2007

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Translated by Marilyn L. Booth
Foreword by Helene Cixous
Afterword by Ferial J. Ghazoul

The events leading up to Suhaila's sudden illness are depicted in the shifting voices of her friends and estranged son, Nader, who bring her passions, secrets, daydreams, fears, and homeland to life in this moving narrative of familial love.

"Leaves an indelible impression. [The Loved Ones] is rich with family and neighbors and [Mamdouh] notes all of their subtle interactions and secrets." Library Journal

“What is dynamic here is Suhaila's loving community of women friends from everywhere . . . who talk about big ideas. . . . [T]he family story is universal. . ." Booklist

“…[I]ntense and lyrical.” Kirkus Reviews

“Long after the last lines . . . [there is] a radiant picture of the heroine: her generous character . . . and above all, her love of Iraq. Her son Nader acknowledges that 'she always tows Baghdad into whatever places we have lived, to be able to endure things, to stay alive and not die.” Arab News, Saudi Arabia

"[An] intimately moving, polyphonic narrative of displacement and nomadism . . . a hymn to friendship and to boundless giving that ultimately restores life. Written in exile, it invents a language of exile with which to resist dispossession." —Committee of Judges, Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Arabic Literature

"This novel has a complexity that takes time to progress . . . truly unique." Multicultural Review

“[In this novel the] strata of events and sensations create a vivid view of Iraqi society at home and abroad with an emphasis on the Iraqi diaspora in the last decade of the millennium. . . . Booth’s translation is a labor of love and talent, a skill coupled with devotion." —Ferial J. Ghazoul, from the Afterword