I Think of You: Stories

Ahdaf Soueif, Author
Ahdaf Soueif, Author . Anchor $13 (182p) ISBN 978-0-307-27721-3
Reviewed on: 01/22/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007

Soueif (shortlisted for the Booker in 1999 for The Map of Love ) serves up a mostly stale collection of previously published stories, all at least a decade old, about clashing cultures and disappointed love. The best are three stories that follow Aisha from her Cairo childhood to a rough period as a teenager in 1964 London, where, as the misfit daughter of Muslim intellectuals, she encounters boorish classmates who tease her about polygamy and camels. Back in Egypt years later, Aisha confronts sorrowful memories of her doomed marriage. Two related stories, also set in England, feature Asya, a Middle Eastern woman moving on after a failed marriage and a miscarriage. Soueif incorporates wonderfully atmospheric details, particularly in the stories set in Egypt, but the stories feel thin and are too frequently overly lyrical. Though competent, these stories comprise the early works of a writer who has come into her own in later works. (Mar.)

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