Unveiled: A Woman's Journey Through Politics, Love and Obedience

Deborah Kanafani, Author . Free Press $25 (255p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9183-5

This uneven memoir frustrates and fascinates, as Kanafani appears to find the lives of others more interesting than her own. The surprising result: passages in which Kanafani's description of events as dramatic as falling for a prince on a cross-Atlantic voyage and watching her father go to prison for business irregularities (that are never disclosed) come across as mildly tedious. Fortunately, the tales she relates of Palestinian politics, Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and Arab women bucking tradition to struggle for social justice are captivating. The author sees that both her father and her ex-husband, former Yasser Arafat adviser Marwan Kanafani, were controlling and abusive, but fails to consider why her relationship with the former may have led to her bond with the latter, and only rarely intimates what these love-hate relationships meant for her. Writing of a new friend, she says, “I wanted to tell her that I was strong and independent too; I wanted to whisper this great secret to her, but I couldn't let Marwan hear me.” Ultimately, Kanafani's curiosity about others and the surprising details she reveals about lesser-known topics such as Islamic marriage law or details of Yasser Arafat's marriage are worth the effort, but the payoff is a long time coming. (Jan. 8)

Reviewed on: 11/19/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0432-0
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-7432-9184-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4281-9803-6
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4165-5259-8
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