[L-I] The Stone Woman

Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx xxxxxxxx at xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Mon Oct 2 16:45:39 MDT 2000


The Stone Woman

By Tariq Ali

Each year, when the weather in Istanbul becomes unbearable, the family
of Iskender Pasha, a retired Ottoman notable, retires to its summer
palace overlooking the Sea of Marmara. It is 1899 and the last great
Islamic empire is in serlous trouble. A former tutor poses a question
which the family has been refusing to confront for almost a century:

"Your Ottoman Empire is like a drunken prostitute, neither knowing nor
caring who will take her next. Do I exaggerate, Memed?"

The history of Iskender Pasha's family mirrors the growing degeneration
of the Empire they have served for the last five hundred years. This
passionate story of masters and servants, school-teachers and painters,
is marked by jealousies, vendettas and, with the decay of the Empire, a
new generation which is deeply hostile to the half-truths and myths of
the "golden days." The Stone Woman is the third novel of Tariq Ali's
"Islam Quartet." Like its predecessors -- Shadows of the Pomegranate
Tree and The Book of Saladin -- its power lies both in the story-telling
and the challenge it poses to stereotype dimages of life under Islam.

"In this fiercely lyrical second installment ... Ali exposes deep wounds
between Christian, Muslim and Jewish civilizations that have yet to
heal. A digressive arabesque weaving tales of political intrigue, gay
and straight love, betrayal, cross-dressing, rape, assassination and
crimes of passion, his tale ripples with implicit parallels to out age."
— Publishers Weekly on The Book of Saladin

Tariq Ali is a writer and film-maker. He has written over a dozen books
on world history and politics and plays for both stage and screen. The
Stone Woman is his fifth novel.

                                                            June 2000

                                                            US$25 / £17
/ CAN$35


Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxxxx
PhD Student
Department of Political Science
SUNY at Albany
Nelson A. Rockefeller College
135 Western Ave.; Milne 102
Albany, NY 12222

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