Join the Banipal Book Club to discuss ‘The Dove’s Necklace’ by Saudi Arabian author Raja Alem. Translated into English by Katharine Halls and Adam Talib, ‘The Dove’s Necklace’ is one of the entries into the 2017 Saif Ghobash Banipal Translation Prize. Its Arabic original was joint winner of the 2011 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. It is a highly original work and should provoke an interesting discussion.
“A book about the oddness of being human, transcending place and time” – Jonathan Wright, ‘The World Today’.
Mu’az, the photographer’s apprentice, was leaping between two roofs when he froze in mid-air, transfixed by what he saw below. Deep in the cleft between the two houses was the body. In Mecca’s ‘Lane of Many Heads’ lies the unclothed body of a murdered woman. Nobody claims the victim: her nudity is a source of shame in the Holy City’s strictly conservative culture. When the cholesterol-riddled and sleep-deprived detective Nasser al-Qahtani takes charge of the investigation, he is soon confronted by some of Mecca’s darkest secrets – by its corruption, poverty, misogyny and rampant greed.