Maryam: Keeper of Stories


Author: Alawiya Sobh
Translated by Nirvana Tanoukhi

9780857423252 | HB | pp. 272 | 2016 | ‎ Seagull Books

Set during the Lebanese Civil War, Maryam offers us incisive observations on society’s restrictions on women. The stories in this novel traverse on diverse topics such as love, friendship and loss.

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This acclaimed novel is set during the Lebanese Civil War and offers a rare depiction of women’s experiences amid this sprawling, region-defining conflict. In Alawiya Sobh’s hands, the details of everyday life mix with female voices from across classes, sects, and generations to create an indelible picture of a climate where violence and war are the overt outbreak of a simmering tension that underlies the life in the region. Here, stories struggle to survive the erasure of war and rescue the sweetness of living, trying to connect the tellers and their audience while transforming pain and love into abiding, sustaining art. Rendered sensitively into English through a close collaboration between author and translator, Maryam offers an unforgettable picture of conflict and its costs.

Additional information


Alawiya Sobh
Translator: Nirvana Tanoukhi







Year of Publication:



‎ Seagull Books





Country of Origin:

United States of America

About the Contributors

The author is writer, journalist and chief editor of the bestselling women’s magazine Al- Hasnaa since 1986. Maryam, Keeper of Stories, published originally in Arabic in 2002 won the Sultan Taboos Prize in 2006. Her novel It’s Called Love was longlisted for the 2010 International Prize for Arabic Fiction. She lives in Beirut.

The translator translates fiction into English and is a critic of world literature. She is based in Madison, Wisconsin.


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