After her father's death, fourteen-year-old Touba proposes to a fifty-two-year-old relative in order to ensure her family's financial security. Intimidated by her outspoken nature, Touba's husband soon divorces her. She marries again, this time to a prince with whom she experiences tenderness and physical passion and has four children—but he proves unfaithful and unreliable. Touba is granted a divorce from him, and lives out the rest of her long life as matriarch to a changing household of family members and refugees.
From a distinctly Iranian viewpoint, Tuba and the Meaning of Night explores the ongoing tensions between rationalism and mysticism, tradition and modernity, male dominance and female will. Throughout, it defies Western stereotypes of Iranian women and Western expectations of literary form, speaking in an idiom that reflects both the unique creative voice of its author and an important tradition in Persian women's writing.
With a foreword by Barbara Nimri Aziz, journalist, and founder of RAWI (Radius of Arab-American Writers), this collection is one of the first books to assemble the voices of women writers of Arab descent on the subject of writing itself. Contributors consider the difficulties, obstacles, joys, failures and successes of writing from an Arab perspective but largely for American audiences. They consider aspects of identity, family, politics, memory, and other crucial cultural issues that impact them personally and professionally as writers. In creative and thoughtful prose, these important women writers shed new light on what it means to be a writer in a world not fully your own.
In a major contribution to the critically acclaimed and long lived Classics of Western Spirituality "TM" series, editor Th. Emil Homerin makes available here two of Ibn al-Farid's poems that have long been considered classics of Islamic mystical literature. The Wine Ode, a poem in praise of wine as well as a love poem, can also be seen as an extended meditation on the presence of divine love in the universe. The Poem of the Sufi Way, one of the longest poems ever composed in Arabic, and the most famous one rhyming in "T", begins as a love poem and then explores a number of crucial concerns confronting the seeker on the Sufi path. Both works have been treated for centuries in numerous mystical commentaries. Noteworthy as well in this volume is the addition of the Adorned Proem, a reverential account of Ibn al-Farid's life by his grandson.
Individuals interested in the fields of mysticism and spirituality, as well as lovers of poetry, particularly love poetry, will find this to be fascinating reading. It will have great relevance, of course, for scholars and students of Arabic literature, Islam and mysticism.