miriam cooke

Hayati, My Life: A Novel (Arabic Translation, 2004)

Translated by Lina Sinjav, 2004

“This compelling, polyphonic novel gives voice to the experiences of three generations of Palestinian women whose lives are torn apart by war, rape, dispossession, and poverty.”

Booklist: “A professor of Arabic literature has written a vivid and fiercely tender story of three generations of Palestinian women whose voices tell of loss and sorrow. In 1948, Maryam’s little brother had been killed by gunfire in his father Basil’s arms. Basil never recovered; Maryam’s mother, Assia, did what needed to be done. After Maryam’s sister Afaf is born, the family does not know how to deal with the baby’s muteness or the paintings she makes. The family is divided when Maryam is left with her grandmother while her parents and sister go to Kuwait in hopes of healing Afaf. The PLO, Saddam, the Six-Day War, and the Iran-Iraq war are all part of the fabric, but the tale focuses on these women whose lives are ravaged by the endless fighting. The title is the term of endearment most often used by the women for one another.” GraceAnne DeCandido

Published Reviews:

  • Studies in the Humanities, June 2003
  • Middle East Librarians Association Notes 2003
  • Arab Studies Quarterly #24/4 2002
  • Al-Nahar, March 8, 2002
  • L’Orient LeJour, March 9, 2002
  • Al-Ra’y, March 13, 2002
  • Al-Safir, March 13, 2002
  • World Literature Today, Winter 2002
  • AMEWS Review, Winter 2002
  • Library Journal, January 2001
  • Chapel Hill News, March 2001
  • Historical Novels Review, (16) May 2001
  • Choice, May 2001
  • Dialogue, July 2001
  • Banipal, Summer 2001
  • Al-Jadid, 7/34 Winter 2001 and Winter 2003
  • MESA Bulletin, 35:2 Winter 2001
  • Publisher’s Weekly October 2000
  • Kirkus Reviews, October 2000
  • Booklist, November 2000