A Sky So Close (eBook)
This haunting coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in wartime Iraq was the subject of heated controversy when it was published in the Middle East; now in English, it offers American readers a rare chance to experience an Iraqi childhood.
The frank, determined narrator is a schoolgirl living in a small town in the Iraqi countryside when the book opens. Torn between the cultures of her parents, she loves the simple pleasures of provincial life in her father’s native land but, at the urging of her English mother, she is thrown into the study of Western music and ballet and becomes a devoted dancer by the time the family relocates to Baghdad. Even as the city around her is transformed by the blackouts and
deprivations of the war between Iran and Iraq, she propels herself passionately through the full range of teenage discovery. The death of her father, her first love affair, and her mother’s unexpected illness carry her into adulthood and ultimately to London, where she confronts, with surprising results, the other half of her East–West legacy.
A Sky So Close is a captivating look at contemporary Iraq from the inside out—a stunning re-creation of the surreality of life during wartime, and the story of a young woman coming to terms with the seemingly unbridgeable cultures from which she is formed.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Betool Khedairi lives in Amman, Jordan.
Praise for A Sky So Close…
“A lush first novel . . . both impressionistic and accomplished.” --The New York Times
“A memorable book about growing up between two cultures.” —Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered
“[V]ividly rendered . . . . [Q]uiet yet powerful.” —Booklist
"[An] assured first novel . . . a valuable book . . . .What's most remarkable here is the buoyancy that Khedairi sustains even as her child heroine grows up." --LA Times