Time’s Running Out for Scheherazade by Fawzia Zouari (tr. Judith Landry)

I read this excellent essay in Banipal 39 – Modern Tunisian Literature (2010)

a nutshell: a strident renunciation of society’s expectation that women’s words serve men, Zouari kicks out at the story of Scheherazade narrating tales only to distract her would-be murderous husband

a line: “From now on, I am the author of a story which is its own wellspring, not a bid for reprieve”

an image: walking from age to age without raising one’s voice or setting one’s feet where an echo might ring out, women have been silenced through ‘silken wings’ or weighty gold – male attempts to assuage their appetite for flight

a thought: the writer is now invested in “I” and turns her gaze inward rather than downward; her stories are for the purpose of better living with herself

a fact: the story of Scheherazade, which frames the collection of Middle Eastern folklore, One Thousand and One Nights, sees the young woman spend 1001 nights narrating cliff-hanger tales to her monarchical husband, Shahryar, so he’d let her live another day (all his previous wives had been beheaded)

want to read Time’s Running Out for Scheherazade? visit here

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