The Map of Love is the story of two stories: two stories separated by a hundred years of history, two stories intricately intertwined.
There is the story of Lady Anna Winterbourne who, recently widowed, travels to the Middle East in 1900. In Egypt Anna meet Sharif al-Barudi, an Egyptian Nationalist, high-born and utterly committed to his country's cause. For Sharif, Anna at first represents the pseudo-benign snobberies and vulgarities of colonialist Britain. For her, Sharif stand for the real, secret Egypt - an Egypt entirely hidden from her incurious expat. compatriots. The couple fall in love, but fearfully. Can such a love survive? They marry, but can Anna really turn herself into an Oriental wife? Can Sharif adjust to Anna's Englishness? And will the real world, the unloving world of history and politics, give them a chance to try?
These questions arise naturally from the telling of their hundred-year-old narrative, but they are questions which, we learn, have a powerful present-tense significance for the heroine of the book's second story: the story of Isabel Parkman, an American divorcee and a descendant of Anna and Sharif. In 1997, Isabel meets and falls in love with Omar-al.
Author Biography: Ahdaf Soueif was born in Cairo. She is the author of Aisha, Sandpiper, In the Eye of the Sun, and the bestselling novel The Map of Love, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999.
A dual love story that will surely become a classic for its beautiful writing and was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize. In Egypt in 1900, young widow Lady Anna Winterbourne meets patrician nationalist Sharif Pasha al-Barudi. To Sharif, Anna represents the hated British, while Anna knows that any relationship between them would inevitably result in ostracism by her countrymen. Their gradual acceptance of love for each other, their eventual marriage and Anna's burgeoning love for Egypt are all sensitively handled. In 1997, the couple's story is gradually recreated for Isabel (their American great-granddaughter) from Anna's diaries and letters by an Egyptian kinswoman, Amal, whom Isabel travels to Egypt to meet. The two stories are skilfully interlaced against a compelling account of Egypt's nationalist movement, which never swamps the narrative. Review by MARY S LOVELL. Editor's note: Mary S Lovell is the author of A Scandalous Life. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 530
Published: 1st May 2000
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 13.0
Weight (kg): 0.36
Edition Number: 1
Edition Type: New edition