Friday, March 10, 2006
Hanan Al Shaykh
I met Hanan al Shaykh only once: heard her speak at MIT in Cambridge. I was disappointed. Her comments on her novel The Story of Zahra were superficial and left you wondering if Foucault was right about the death of the author business. How else can you explain a text that is deeper than its author? She was eager to announce she was not a feminist despite the efforts of American reviewers and academics to feministicize her. Judging by this, she doesn't seem to have changed much. One interesting bit of gossip: she had an affair with the Egyptian writer Ihsan Abdul Quddous. Humm. This may explain some things--such as the sensationalism and voyerism in her work.