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Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian…

Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women (udgave 2016)

af Ghada Alatrash (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6537316,669 (4.07)14
Set between war-torn Syria and the West, Stripped to the Bone explores issues of identity, love, strife, courage and resilience in seven fictional portraits of Syrian women.
Titel:Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women
Forfattere:Ghada Alatrash (Forfatter)
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2016), Edition: 2, 174 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women af Ghada Alatrash


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» Se også 14 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 38 (næste | vis alle)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was an incredibly emotional book. Most of the focus of each story was interior: the characters' self-definitions, thoughts, emotions, and what it meant for them to feel "stripped to the bone." As such, there was relatively little actual plot in each story. The effect was most like a snapshot of a certain time, place, and emotion. Transitions in action were therefore often disjointed and the focus of a certain section could jump from one place or thought to another, which lent itself to a kind of stream of consciousness feeling. Some of the descriptions felt almost hyperbolic in their intensity and the heavy use of similes and metaphors, but that might just be a difference in literary taste between the author and I. I did enjoy the choice of poetry in the chapter epigraphs. They provided yet more Syrian voices as a means of setting the stage for each new chapter. As a whole, this was a wonderful, heartbreaking, and occasionally horrifying (there are descriptions of torture in the second story) book that provides a glimpse into the minds and hearts of a number of Syrian women, both in Syria and abroad, and their relationships to their country and themselves.
  irasobrietate | Jun 4, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A fascinating read, but it lacks polish. One problem I had with my copy was the manner in which notations were handled - usually in-line notes rather than endnotes or footnotes. Now, e-readers tend to handle footnotes badly, but I would have preferred endnotes to in-line as a solution. It frequently broke up the flow, often with explanations of things I was already familiar with. Weirdly, the one thing I was not familiar with (a traditional love story) was given barely any explanation, while simple translation decisions were repeatedly explained at length.

Overall, the material was both beautiful and difficult, but the author's own editorial voice was more impediment than aid. ( )
  Faranae | May 10, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Stripped to the Bone opens with the natural yearnings of Zahrah, a single woman ageing and in need of a husband, who fills her heart with Hollywood movies to escape her edge of survival existence in a war zone. Then there’s the story of Reem and Mayyada, two women both unjustly imprisoned and forced to endure torture and rape. Here the abuse of a zealot brother is juxtaposed with the almost faceless and arbitrary violence of the prison officers, Alatrash making observations relevant to all women everywhere.

In Stripped to the Bone ancient traditions are portrayed alongside modern values and lifestyles as Syrian women hold on to what is precious and beautiful while adapting to modern ways. In ‘Hanaan and Salaam’ the author tackles homophobia, in ‘Lama’ multicultural relationships, as those Syrians who have fled their homeland adapt to their new lives.

Written in gentle, ironic and often sensual prose, this collection oozes intimacy. Alatrash infuses her stories with pride and anguish, pride in her culture and anguish over the cruelties meted out in the name of God and country. But above all, Alatrash is concerned with the unjust war Syria endures, a civil war with all too powerful interested parties, a proxy war involving America, Russia and Saudi Arabia and their various allies: a bloodbath. In this collection, the geopolitics of Syria forms a translucent backdrop, Alatrash leaving it to the reader to educate themselves if they wish. Of concern for the author is the impact all of the various injustices have had on women’s lives.

In ‘Um Jaad’, a story of a Syrian woman travelling to visit her sister in Homs who has just lost her little boy, Alatrash writes:

“More deafening than the screams was the silence of the world.” It was her sister “Who lived the pain of the atrocities erasing Syrians off the map.”

Interwoven in stories that invite reflection and at times confront the reader with harsh and horrifying realities, is beautiful verse, verse that depicts the Syrian soul, verse to savour and revisit time and again.

Stripped to the Bone is a questioning and intelligent book, at once romantic, poignant and passionate. A huge sadness pervades the collection, a sense of loss of culture, of heritage and of all that is meaningful and valuable and important in women’s lives. The reader will take away the thought that what continues to happen in Syria should never have begun. Timely and significant, Stripped to the Bone is a must read for anyone wanting to understand Syria from within, from the perspective of the everyday domestic lives of its women. ( )
  IsobelBlackthorn | Jan 19, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book for free through LibraryThing. I could only get into the second story and had to stop. The first story I loved but it was laborious to even get to it (since I read everything before hand). The second story was also laborious to get to but then also was too much to read. The labor is in all of the explanations and setups. If a story cannot stand alone, it is not written well. And the second story with its multiple lines, bracketed word definitions that did not seem to feed into the story, the story’s flow was too interrupted. That’s why people use italics and a glossary. That is poor editing. If this much poetry to setup a story is common elsewhere, it does not fit my preferred reading style. Even then, I did not see or understand fully the connections between the poetry and the stories. I expected stories not poetry. ( )
  dejunker | Dec 30, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An interesting insight into the reality of life in Syria. I enjoyed the way the author blended Syrian poetry into the stories, giving a broader sense of the culture.
In her prose, however, there is a tendency to explain too much - I would have liked her to be more creative at incorporating those explanations into the story, if they were really needed.
  liffy | Dec 28, 2017 |
Viser 1-5 af 38 (næste | vis alle)
Set between war-torn Syria and the West, Stripped to the Bone explores issues of identity, love, strife, courage and resilience in seven fictional portraits of Syrian women / women of Syria.
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Set between war-torn Syria and the West, Stripped to the Bone explores issues of identity, love, strife, courage and resilience in seven fictional portraits of Syrian women.

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