Wednesday 22 June 2011

Nine Parts of Desire

Finished June 21
Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks
This has been my "purse book" for the last few weeks, one I read waiting in line, waiting for appointments, and when eating lunch out alone. I think reading it slowly like I did gave me time to absorb and ponder the book. 
Brooks was a prize-winning foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, who spent six years covering the Middle East. Her gender allowed her access to people and situations that male journalists could not, and inspired this book. She tells of experiences in many Islamic countries and made connections with women in these different communities. She tells of prejudices, opportunities, and contradictions.
An eye-opening book on a world that is complex and important to the world today. Brooks went in with a respectful attitude and a willingness to listen and try to understand the realities of these women's lives. She probed for their reasons for the choices they made, the societal pressures they experienced, and observed how men and women interacted in these societies.
A great read.


  1. Interestingly enough, I was reading this at the dentist's office and the hygienist was interested. Turned out she was from Iran, and took down the title and author so she could borrow it from the library. I'll have to see what she thought of it on my next visit.

  2. This does sound good. Isn't it funny how we NEED a purse book. Over the last few months I finding I'm choosing paperbacks so it's "lighter" reading. I'm a hardcover book buyer historically.

  3. Yes, the need for purse books is interesting. I'm lost without one. When I finished this one partway through a dinner alone, I was miffed I hadn't planned a backup book. Another paperback is in my purse today.