When the body of a young woman is discovered in the Lane of Many Heads, an alley in modern day Mecca, no one will claim it, as they are all ashamed of her nakedness As Detective Nasser pursues his investigation of the case, seemingly all of Mecca chimes inincluding the Lane of Many Heads itselfin this brilliant, funny, profane, and enigmatic fever dream of a novel by Raja Alem, the first woman to win the International Prize for Arabic FictionNasser initially suspects that the dead woman is Aisha, one of the residents of the Area, and he searches her emails for clues The world she paints embraces everything from crime and religious extremism to the exploitation of foreign workers by a mafia of building contractors, who are destroying the historic areas of the city In stark relief with this grimness is the beauty of her love letters to her German boyfriend Another view reveals the city through the eyes of Yusuf, Aisha s neighbor, increasingly frustrated by the acceleration pace of change As gripping as classic noir, nuanced as a Nabokov novel, and labyrinthine as the alleys of Mecca itself, this powerful and disturbing work of fiction masterfully reveals a city and a civilization in all its contradictions, at once beholden to brutal customs and uneasily coming to terms with new traditions Raja Alem s singular The Dove s Necklace is a virtuosic work of literature that deserves the world s attention

3 thoughts on “The Doves Necklace: A Novel (English Edition)

  1. Florida Bodine Florida Bodine says:

    This book was the March selection for our book club Not a single member, and we are a diverse group, finished reading The Dove s Necklace Several of us used the book as a springboard to cultural research The plot meanders, is unclear, and has irrelevant characters, locations, scenarios and premise It really needs significant editing All of us made a concerted effort to soldier on but ultimately found the book to be a disappointing waste of time.

  2. Mary Aldridge Dean Mary Aldridge Dean says:

    Im probably not being fair here because I don t think I understood the culture enough to follow the storyline I found it a hard go but did make it to the end I think the prose is excellent and I think I am at fault here If you don t have a clear grasp of Middle Eastern culture you won t follow this one.

  3. mariahilff.de Customer mariahilff.de Customer says:

    Having a tough time getting into this book May save I for a winter read when there isn t as much going on.