The New York Times chats with Miral al-Tahawy about her book Brooklyn Heights: A Modern Arabic Novel:
NYT: The central character in the book, “Brooklyn Heights,” is a single mother named Hend. She has one son and struggles with loneliness, exhaustion and depression. The award-winning book, recently released in English, weaves together a life in Brooklyn with a childhood in provincial Egypt.
The book was shortlisted for the 2011 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, also known as the Arabic Booker Prize. It also won the 2010 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.
“The writing was split between two worlds,” Ms. al-Tahawy, 43, explained last month, “the world I was coming from and which had become very sharp in my memory, and the place where I am living, with its contradiction and contract, variations and harmony.”