The Almond: The Sexual Awakening of a Muslim Woman

by Nedjma

Hardcover, 2005




Grove Press, (2005)


An autobiographical erotic novel written by an observant Muslim woman in contemporary North Africa,The Almond is an extraordinary and pioneering literary work, a truly unforgettable journey into the sexual undercurrents of a world that is, outwardly and to Western eyes, puritanical. Badra is a young Muslim widow who flees the small town of Imchouk to take refuge with her Uncle Slimane's iconoclastic ex-wife. In Imchouk, it was expected that Badra's life should be limited by her husband's wishes, but at Aunt Selma's, Badra begins to think about how she wants to live from now on. She recalls her youthful curiosity about sex -- what other girls' and women's bodies were like, her first attempts to spy on men, her fascination with the two beautiful prostitute sisters wholived outside Imchouk. When she develops a passionate, consuming relationship with a wealthy doctor, Badra remembers and rediscovers her own sexual being, in scenes that are erotic, revelatory, and sometimes bittersweet. C. Jane Hunter's translation gives us a book of great power that resembles a MuslimVagina Monologues.The Almond is an inspiring and illuminating novel that reminds us of the transformative power of desire and pleasure.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member oldbookswine
Translated from French the book is a story of a girl sold by her parents to an older man in marriage. Growth of the women through sexual experiences using much erotic langange. Not for everyone
LibraryThing member cadillacrazy
I read and finished this book but I'm not sure if I liked it. I left me feeling like I couldn't done something better with my time.
LibraryThing member goldiebear
Honestly, I am not sure what to make of this book. First, it took me a while to figure out where this story took place; (Turkey? I believe..). It was not what I expected. It was erotic and crude all at the same time. It was a nice change of pace from what I am used to. Nedjma is a fantastic story tell and I was happy to see a novel written about this subject from a Middle Eastern woman. Very liberating. I have to admit I stopped reading at about page 185 or so. It was getting a bit old. It didn't seem like it was really going anywhere... though I may have missed something. I did however like how the story was told; alternating between basically Bhadra's former life and her new life. I also enjoyed the story line with the aunt. I however got a little bored with Driss and the lesbians. It was just a bit much for me. Over all, it was a nice change of pace, but not the greatest thing I have ever read.… (more)
LibraryThing member nordie
In two minds about this book. On one hand it can be seen as the suppression of women and their sexuality in a patriarchal society, and the heightened erotic reclaiming of their bodies (both as children and women). On the other hand, it's a way for the writer to get down as many different sexual words and permutations onto the page before someone finds out they've written a "smutty" book.

In the end I got bored, which is bad for such as short book. The chapters were often short, sometimes very lyrical and enjoyable, but in the end quite unengaging
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LibraryThing member MissJessie
The review of this book promised a look into the "erotic undercurrents of the Muslim world."

Forgive me, but I doubt it. It was certainly erotic in many areas, but as to the realistic look at life in the Arab world, it is completely unbelievable.

I am sure there have been women who lived the way the author described, but not very many. And frankly, it was a bore.
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