A Thousand and One Coffee Mornings: Scenes from Arabia

Miranda Miller, Author
Miranda Miller, Author Learning Links $29.95 (142p) ISBN 978-0-7206-0761-1
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
The dislocation experienced by expatriate women whose husbands' careers bring them to Saudi Arabia connects these stories by the author of Under the Rainbow. Through the secular, Western eyes of the central characters in these vignettes, the rigors of Islamic culture--fundamentalism, restrictive dress, sexism--take on formidable dimensions. In ``Memsahib, Inshallah,''sp ok ss the marriage of a young English couple newly resident in the foreigners' compound of Riyadh, is threatened by the male-dominated culture. Most of the expatriates, English and American, are boorish, occupying themselves with compulsive shopping and partying, avoiding meaningful contact with the natives. But when, in the title story, a mature Englishwoman sincerely questions a pampered Saudi wife about her life, she realizes that ``Aisha can describe the geography of the palace but not her relationship with her husband and sons and other wives.'' Miller, who has taught English in Saudi Arabia, captures the incongruities of living in an alien land. (June)
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