FINALIST OF THE BANIPAL TRANSLATION PRIZE
‘It is both an examination of the shifting traditional and complicated lines of gender in Lebanese society and an insightful, often beautiful portrayal of women’s social bonds during another era.’
Sarah is on the brink of adulthood in her village in the mountains of Lebanon in the 1930s, a world itself hesitating on the verge of change. Her father, the sheikh, is disinterested in anything but the silkworms he’s always raised, no matter that each year their value decreases. Her conservative aunt worries only about the family’s reputation, fearing that Sarah will take after her mother, who ran away twelve years ago and no word has been heard from her since. Sarah’s brother dreams of going abroad, but as each year passes find himself still trapped in the family business. All around her – Druze and Christian, Lebanese and English – grow poorer and their traditions are no longer able to sustain them. Sarah’s hopes for the future have come to rely on a good marriage or finding the mother she can’t remember.
IMAN HUMAYDAN YOUNES is a Lebanese novelist, short-story writer and journalist. Wild Mulberries is her second novel, after B as in Beirut (Arabia Books, 2009)